The e-course market has grown significantly over the last few years. It started with online learning platforms like Udemy and Coursera that help everyday people create and sell courses on a range of topics from, design, coding, photography, gardening, organization, etc.
The market has shifted and now we see people all over Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, independently publishing and promoting their e-courses, brining in thousands of extra dollars a month.
In this post we'll walk through the 3 step process to ideate and build your e-course. Spoiler alert. You don't need to be tech savvy or have a large following to launch a successful course. In Part 1 of this series we'll cover the following:
Brainstorm Profitable Ideas
Conduct Market Research
Execute Your Idea
1. Brainstorm Profitable Ideas
The hardest part of creating an e-course is coming up with an idea. Why? Because once you've come up with your idea I'll walk you step-by-step how to create your course content and launch your course. Maybe you've already come up with your idea and ready to skip ahead to step 2. If not, I want you to ask yourself these 4 questions:
What do I enjoy doing?
What am I already savvy at?
What do people come to me for advice or help with?
What's the most financially viable idea that intersects between my passion and my savvy expertise?
Once you've come up with your idea you need to identify your target audience. Jot down demographics about your ideal customer - we'll come back to this later in Part 2 of this series.
Location: United States
Interested in x, y, z products
2. Conduct Market Research
Now that you've found your idea it's time to validate and do some market research. Type a few key words related to your product into Google and see what you find.
Example Searches: "Ketogenic diet plan", "steps to build an email list"
Look at the results:
Are other bloggers, small businesses, organizations or universities selling similar programs or products?
Do any paid ads appear in the search? If yes, that's a good sign that there's money in your topic since people are investing in paid advertising to appear at the top of the search results. Jot down a couple of key words they're using that you may be useful for your own course title, description, or sales page
Review the organic searches. What products and tactics are these people using? What is their course priced at? How many modules are in their course? Do they offer a sneak peak into their course? What type of content or results do they promise to deliver?
3. Execute Your Idea
Once you find what's already working it's time time to use your unique voice, experience, and expertise to create a course that stands out from your competition.
What typically holds people back from building their online course is perfectionism and fear, whether that's fear that they don't have enough experience or the technical know-how. You my friend, likely already have the skills and resources to get started, so silence the self-doubt and let's dive right in.
What you need:
Content Outline: Once you've identified your topic, it's time to put pen to paper. Break your idea into different modules. Then identify what you'll be teaching in each lesson, any case studies you can include to strengthen your course content, and the main take-away for each lesson. What's your value add? What are you asking your audience to act on or implement?
Visual way to present information: Once you've built your content outline you need a way to present your information. I recommend using a slide deck, such as Google Slides, KeyNote or Powerpoint to display your information. What's great about a slide deck is that you don't have to record a video of yourself. So if you're uncomfortable being on screen, all you need is a slide deck with voice over to start creating content.
Way to record your screen / powerpoint: ScreenFlow or Camtasia
Microphone to record e-course: Your laptop microphone will work fine. But if you're feeling fancy, you can find a microphone on Amazon for around $50
Service to publish your course: Teachable and Thinkable are my preferred Learning Management Systems. Why these platforms? They allow you to create the same branded experience that matches your Website or Instagram page, making it feel like an extension of your brand, rather than a random third party service.
If you have trouble throughout this process remember, building courses is an acquired skill that you develop through practice and repetition. In Part 2 of this series we'll walk through how to create your Sales page, reach your audience, and launch your course!