Why 2020 is The Time To Start Your Online Course Business
If you’ve been thinking about starting (or growing) an online course, now might be the best time to take action.
Even though the pandemic and social distancing has turned the world upside down, one thing has become very clear. The world is going online now more than ever. I’m not just talking about video meetings for newly remote organizations, I’m talking about the education industry as well.
Not just formal education, but self-education…
According to a recent Forbes report, “Even before the pandemic, Research and Markets forecasts the online education market as $350 Billion by 2025, so the numbers might be updated after analyzing the growth impacts of COVID-19 on the online learning market.”
That $350 billion figure was before the pandemic! I can’t imagine how much more this number will soar as businesses turn remote and more people are switching jobs or adding a new side hustle.
The online learning space is one of the best opportunities for you, regardless of your niche or experience level. Quite frankly, it’s never been easier or cheaper to start monetizing your expertise online. I don’t want you to miss out on this rare opportunity to move your life and business forward.
But if you’ve thought about it in the past and been overwhelmed, I want to help. This post will show you how to successfully sell an online course.
Why 2020 is The Year to Release Your Online Course
Are you still on the fence about whether you should create a digital course this year? Here are three compelling reasons to help you get off the fence and start taking action today.
The World is Changing
As you know, 2020 has not been the start of the decade that most people planned. But as entrepreneurs, we must adapt to the times and serve our audience, no matter what the circumstances or economy looks like. As the world changes, we need to continue to evolve and keep up with trends.
The latest trend even before the pandemic was the switch from in-person to online learning. People worldwide love having the ability to learn remotely from the comfort of their own home.
Now, since fewer people are traveling and staying socially distant, it’s vital that you have digital options for your audience. One of the easiest ways to do that is sell your expertise as an online course.
Not only are online courses wildly scalable but people can use distance learning to stay safe. It’s a true win-win scenario!
People Need to Learn New Skills
Whether you realize it or not, people would gladly pay you for your knowledge! Here’s the thing, everyone has their own unique experiences in life. Your journey to where you are is unlike anyone else’s.
Chances are, you have found success in one or several areas of life or business. The cool thing is that there is a niche for everything when it comes to building an online course. Whether you’ve done well with real estate, excelled in a sport, grew a side hustle or something else, others want the same success!
People will gladly invest in your offers to save them time, energy, and money!
Lower Ad Costs
Finally, paid ads (like Instagram and Facebook) haven’t been this cheap in years. When the pandemic struck, a lot of entrepreneurs slashed their ad budget or quit running them entirely. This means less competition and lower ad costs for you as long as you have the right mindset.
Instead of giving into short term fear like most people, look at the big picture. This industry is only going to keep growing so make sure that you get in on the ground floor. As Warren Buffett said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
The fear has passed, yet so many people aren’t back to their pre-pandemic ad budget or still aren’t spending at all. This is a huge opportunity for you to get your message in front of new people at a very low cost.
5 Steps to Creating A Successful Course
Now that you can see why it’s the best time ever to launch your course, let’s dive into a simple five-step process to get started.
Step 1: Choose Your Topic & Name
The first step is choosing your digital course topic which is arguably the most important step in the process.
So how do you choose your topic?
I suggest using this four-step framework to help narrow your topic:
- Passion: What are you passionate about? While following your passion is never a bad idea in life, it’s extremely helpful in creating your first digital course too. Your passion will shine through as you teach, create your content, and promote your offer.
- Skills: While passion is important, you also need to have already mastered a specific area of expertise. Don’t worry, you don’t need a fancy degree or be known as a world-wide expert, you just need to be ahead of your ideal audience to help them in their own journey.
- Audience: Do you have an existing audience (ex. Social media followers, email list)? If so, what do they want help with? If you don’t know, ask them!
- Profitability: Finally, don’t forget to make sure there is demand for your type of offer so you can make a profit. One way to do this is to look for similar courses that are already created (*Hint – competition is a good thing, that means people want to learn more).
Once you have a topic, next up is naming your program. The name of your program will help turn your idea into a real business and start taking action.
When picking a name, make it short, easy to remember, and related to your topic if possible. Don’t spend too much time here, you can always tweak or change as you launch and test your offer too.
Step 2: Get Clear On Your Audience
Once you have a topic and name, it’s time to get clear on what your audience is and what they want. This is a step that so many people skip and wonder why they hear crickets when they try to sell their course.
Do not skip this step!
Understanding your audience’s pain points is the key to creating a course that actually gives them a transformation. Plus, the more you know your audience, the easier it will be to sell, promote, and market your offer.
So how do you learn more about your audience?
Simple… ask them!
Seriously, don’t overcomplicate the process.
Here are some easy ways to learn more about your audience:
- Send out a survey. If you have an email list, ask them questions like “What is your biggest struggle or obstacle with (Insert your topic)?” Or, “What are you hoping to achieve with (insert your topic)?”
- Poll your audience on social media. Instagram is a goldmine to learn more about your audience. Use features like “Poll,” “Questions” or “Quiz” on your Instagram stories so you can figure out their pain points and what they’re hoping to achieve.
- Get on the phone. Finally, don’t forget about the power of talking to real people! Offer your email list or social media followers the chance to get on the phone with you. Let them know in advance that you aren’t selling anything and just want to learn from them. All you have to do is ask open-ended questions and let them talk. Not only will you learn a ton but this will also build a ton of rapport and good will with subscribers.
Step 3: Build Your Course
Once you understand what your audience is struggling with and what they want to achieve, creating the content is so much easier!
Too many course creators skip step two, end up making a huge course in this step which leads to confusing and overwhelming buyers. Remember, more content doesn’t mean that your program is better!
Instead, you want to create content that helps them create the fastest transformation by using your course.
To build your course, I suggest following this strategy to get it done efficiently:
- Outline your content in advance: Before you write or record anything, get clear about the entire program by imagining a new client going through it all. Map out each module and lesson from start to finish so it’s easy for them to find success.
- Batch your content: Once you have an outline, next up is the fun part, creating your course! Pick out a few days when all you do is write or record your content. Batching will help you speed up the process and kill procrastination in its tracks!
- Hire help: Finally, don’t feel like you need to do all of this yourself. If you don’t like the tech side of things, hire a virtual assistant to set it up. Or, hire a video editor to make your videos look professional.
Step 4: Promote Your Course
Once you’ve built out your program, it’s time to pick a date where you will open the doors for enrollment. This is usually a 4 to 7-day period that creates excitement and urgency for people to learn more about you and your offer (and hopefully enroll).
After you pick your launch date, it’s time to start promoting it all over the place!
Here are some of the best ways to promote your offer:
- Film YouTube videos.
- Use LinkedIn groups.
- Email your subscribers.
- Talk about the launch on podcasts.
- Run paid ads on Google or Facebook.
- Post on your Instagram feed and stories.
- Utilize Facebook groups (if you have one or others that allow promotion).
Step 5: Launch Your Course
Finally, it’s time to launch your program and get your first sale!
While there are a lot of ways to launch, we obviously love using live and automated webinars to sell your offer. Don’t just take my word for it either, marketers like John Lee Dumas, Amy Porterfield have used them to build 7-figure course empires!
Webinars are the best way to sell your product as you’re able to build a strong relationship with your audience. Since you get to engage with them for 60+ minutes, people will get to know, like and trust you much faster than any other medium. This will lead to more sales and attract the right people to join your program.
Plus, you can segment your audience based on attendance, send them replays, retarget users with paid ads, and a lot more.
Bonus Step: Understand the Results
While those five steps will help you go from idea to revenue, let’s not forget about what happens after you launch your course. First off, make sure to celebrate your launch – regardless of the outcome.
So many entrepreneurs have an idea for a program but never launch because they get overwhelmed with the entire process. Congrats to you!
Next, make sure that you study your launch results.
This is one of the most important ways to see what worked and what didn’t for future launches. Then, go out and serve your new customers so you can get case studies and testimonials.
Join the 30-Day Course Bootcamp
While the five-step process above will help you get some momentum, this is only the beginning.
To help you get even faster results, I want to invite you to my friend Amy Porterfield’s Challenge:
Amy is an internet marketing rock star and has built a 7-figure business selling online courses using webinars (read her success story here).
When you sign up for this free training, you will learn how to get clear on the 7 key decisions that will take you from daydreaming about a digital course to making it happen!
This is 100% FREE and you will get access to:
- Live Q&A sessions with Amy herself!
- Her 30-day plan to go from totally confused as a course creator to having a clear plan of action.
- Awesome giveaways, challenges, and an amazing community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
And a lot more.
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