I created my first online course in 2017 after an entrepreneur friend told me I was missing out on thousands of dollars in passive income every year. Her compelling argument was that I had an engaged audience eager to learn from me, but I had nothing to offer them.
My thing back then Bridesmaid for hire Received interest not only from clients wanting to hire us for their wedding, but also from thousands of people who have reached out to me and wanted to work for the company.
Since I couldn’t hire most of these people, my friend suggested creating a course that could teach them how to start their own unique wedding business.
After sending a Google Forms survey to a list of 200 current applicants asking if they would be interested in taking a course that would teach them how to start their own wedding business, 65% said from them yes.
I spent four weeks putting the course together, drawing on my own expertise as a wedding entrepreneur, business templates I used to start my business from scratch in 2014, and additional information on marketing techniques that helped me create my first Get 100 customers. After outlining the course, creating the content, and choosing a hosting platform, I was ready to launch.
Since then I have created more than 10 courses who have helped generate thousands of dollars a month in passive income. It was a steady way to make money each month without doing a lot of work, and they helped me stay afloat during the pandemic when many of my personal work opportunities were put on hold.
If you’re someone looking to start an online course in 2022, you can start here.
Choose a topic that is close to your heart
Once you have decided to create a course, your next step is to choose a topic that is both in demand and unique to your experience. Take stock of your skills, hobbies, and expertise.
Think of a topic that you would enjoy to teach to an audience, and one in which you have a deeper knowledge than what can be found by a quick Google search. It also helps if you can think of a few ways your perspective makes your voice on the subject different and unusual.
Let’s say you’re creating a course on how to get the most out of LinkedIn. Think about how your experience might make you approach the issue differently than most other people.
Maybe it’s a course called “Make Friends with LinkedIn” and you can share how you’ve made real friends on LinkedIn, or a course called “5 Ways to Go from Zero to 200 Leads a Month on LinkedIn.” ‘ if you were able to do that. Specificity and passion are key here.
Determine who your audience is
For a course to be successful, it is important that it is created for a specific audience. Courses that cater to a more niche audience can help Marketing efforts and have your content specifically benefit the needs of a particular group.
Once you’ve chosen your topic, you determine who this course is for. I would break this down into several categories: demographics, occupation, location, skills and knowledge level, goals a group of people might have, problems a group of people might have, or any other metric unique to your industry.
Video by Lauren Shamo
If that seems overwhelming, don’t worry, you don’t need all seven. Start with 2-3 audience definitions to make your course appealing to a specific group of people.
For example, if you create an introductory public speaking course, there are all kinds of audiences that could benefit from it. But go a little deeper. Perhaps your speech would be for young grads stepping into a sales role, or an introduction to public speaking for introverted millennials.
Figuring out a missing market you’re trying to reach can help you narrow things down.
Connect with your existing audience to validate your idea
Before you start building your course, have conversations with your target audience. This way you can ensure that the course you create is not only one that they are interested in, but also includes the various pain points and sub-topics that you want to address
If you already have access to your target audience, through your own email marketing or For example, social media channels allow you to ask your audience directly on those platforms. Consider emailing a survey link to your audience or posting questions on social media to get their responses.
If you don’t have access to your target audience, find a place where you can meet some of those people. This can be done virtually via Facebook or LinkedIn groups, or in real life, at conferences or events.
Ask if they’d be interested in chatting with you about your course for 15 minutes in exchange for something like a gift card or discount code to use on the future course as a thank you for their time.
Research the competition
To ensure your course is different from all other courses, spend time researching competitors. Browse course websites like Thinkific, Teachable, or Skillshare to see which others are Courses are offered around your topic.
Consider investing in some of these courses yourself to see how you can make your content stand out and make it more effective than what your audience can currently get. For example, if most courses on your topic are at an introductory level, you might want to offer some sections at the end that are more advanced so your audience feels they are getting additional value from your course
Choose a hosting platform
Before you Create your course, choose a hosting platform for your course. I’ve found that with a course platform, you can design a professional looking course with an already existing user interface and provide additional benefits to your audience such as: B. Message boards for chatting with other students or ways to upload assignments for feedback. It also allows you to have a ready-made landing page that you can use to sell and market the course to your audience
There are many different platforms to choose from based on the features that matter most to you. As you begin your search, I would recommend looking at the benefits and pricing models of some of the most commonly used platforms, including Pensive, Teachableand kajabi.
Create the content
Most of the valuable time you spend creating your course is spent in the content development phase. Depending on the topic and level of detail of your course, this is where you will spend a few weeks to a few months writing your course materials, creating worksheets and recording videos or audio files as an additional option teach your subject.
I have found that this can take anywhere from a month to several months depending on how much time you can devote to this task.
Once you’ve uploaded the content, it might be worth paying some members of your target audience to follow the course from start to finish and provide feedback. I did this to optimize your course before rolling it out to paying customers.
Create a marketing plan
Once your course is complete, you should devise a strategic marketing plan so you can reach your audience, prove the value of your course, and generate revenue
Identify three to five ways to market your course based on where you think your audience spends time. You can use social media, pay for Google ads, sponsor an event or conference, do PR, write guest blog posts mentioning your course, and more.
Video by Lauren Shamo
You can set up these affiliate opportunities through your course hosting platform. I am currently offering an affiliate deal of 5-15% to select partners depending on the relationship I have with them.
Once the course is live and generating passive income, your monthly maintenance of the course will consist primarily of timely updates based on changes in your industry or related to your course material topics, and additional marketing to drive new sales.
A rule I follow is that I reinvest 25-30% of profits back into marketing efforts every quarter, whether it’s running ads, sponsoring events, or paying influencers. This way I keep up with the spread of the course and increase sales.
Ultimately, my courses have become a reliable source of passive income and a great way to reach existing and new clients. If you have expertise that you would like to share with others, I think this is a great way to do it.
Jen Glantz is the company’s founder and CEO Bridesmaid for hirethe voice of the podcast “You’re not getting any younger,″ and the author of the Amazon best-selling books “All my friends are engaged″ and “Always hire a bridesmaid.”
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