Creating an online course once required understanding software development, information technology and instructional design, as well as content production and project management.
Advancement in software has made putting together an online course a less daunting task. Current tech allows instructors to focus on the most important aspects of creation: content and marketing. According to Kajabi, “..by 2025, online courses will be worth $325 billion.” And you can be a part of the boom using these five steps for creating an online course.
1. Establish Your Niche
Solve a specific problem for a unique audience and you’re on your way. The topic should be something you’re good at. Do the research and find out if there’s any interest. If the market’s oversaturated, this is a topic you might want to move away from. If it’s not being done, you have to consider if (a) anybody’s interested or (b) you’ve hit the nail on the head.
2. Establish a Learner Profile
A learner profile is your understanding of the person who’d be interested in your course. Write down what your student’s looking for because when the time comes you’ll need to speak to that student directly. You need the idea of the perfect student because you have to create content that speaks to each individual. Otherwise, you risk losing the group’s interest.
3. Establish Learning Outcomes
Know the end game — the learning outcome. The learning outcome is a clear statement of what your student will have accomplished at the end of the course. Without it, you stumble getting your student to walk away with value. Your goal as an instructor is to bridge the gap between what your student knows now and what they want to know. There may be more than one outcome, but you won’t be able to build the needed blocks to learning if you don’t establish outcomes first.
4. Establish Course Content
This is going to be the hard part. If you’re familiar with teaching, writing and public speaking, you’re good to go. Most of us are not. Keep it simple. Try not to throw the kitchen sink into the mix. And don’t go on forever. In most cases, students will tune out after 20 to 30 minutes. Put together your outline based on outcomes and create content around this. Use whatever media you’re comfortable with. Text, audio, video, images, slides. Trust that just listening to you talk won’t necessarily glue them to their seats.
5. Establish an Irresistible Sales Page
This is your ultimate pitch, the solution to drawing in students. Make sure you choose a targeted headline. Focus on the benefits of the course and what students will get. If you have testimonials regarding your expertise and experience, showcase them. Make sure to include a clear and concise call to action. It should be a direct “Sign Up Now,” not “If you’re interested, click here.”
These five steps will definitely help you sell online courses. Start with something you’re passionate about, figure out the best manners for sharing it and you’re on the path!