Whenever you begin creating online courses, you need to cultivate a mindset that you are literally building a school or academy in your chosen market or niche. This viewpoint will force you to examine your overall offering of courses within a grand scheme.
When this grand scheme is well defined, it will naturally attract your target customers. This, in turn, will help you to define your online course topics and your overall scheme even more precisely. This is how you build you customer base over time – by offering a product that is specific.
Never forget that a specific product is a useful product. Over time, your academy umbrella will contain lots of these useful online courses. With this said, let us identify the 7 steps to creating online courses that will increase your bottom line drastically.
Start Selling Your Online Courses Before They Are Finished
Most of us do not think this way. We tend to view our tasks as projects, and we like to complete one task before moving on to the next one. So it doesn’t feel right to begin marketing online courses that are not complete yet.
There are a few reasons to begin selling your courses before your lessons are all done. Now, we are assuming that you are creating your online lessons in order – if this is not the case, then you need to get your first few lessons done before you begin marketing your courses.
The first reason for this approach is that your new customers can begin taking your online courses and provide great feedback that can benefit you immediately. You can take this feedback and apply it to your remaining lessons and ultimately give them a much better online product.
Secondly, when you start getting sales, your attitude toward marketing online lessons will change for the better. This will become a huge motivating factor for you and your staff.
Finally, if you are someone who puts things off sometimes, these early sales will give you that extra push that you need to finish your courses.
Understand the Real Enticement of Your Courses
Never forget why people are attracted to your courses in the first place. You need to go the extra mile to ensure that this objective is crystal clear in your marketing message, and that your course truly delivers this objective to your students.
Your course should easily solve the problem they are seeking to solve, and it should fully teach the skill you are teaching. You must ensure that they walk away satisfied with the end result. Quite honestly, this step here is the one that will quietly propel your overall success with these online courses.
Let Your Students Experience Results Early
Too many course creators out there tend to bury their students in basic information in the initial lessons of their courses. They do this because they understand the importance of foundational material in their area of expertise. While this is true, we often forget how dry and boring this can be to new students. So we need to understand that this basic material is not helpful if it is not being consumed.
This is why you need to create a way to let your students enjoy some results as soon as possible. When you do this, you motivate them to quickly complete the full online course. And also, you must realize that doing this will minimize the number of refunds you will get.
Set Sensible Expectations and Deliver on Your Promise
Remember this; you must never ever make promises to your students that you cannot keep. You must tell them exactly what to expect when they sign up for your course. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you create online courses in your field that are for beginners, intermediates, and advanced students. This will help you convey to prospective students what to expect from specific courses.
Do not be afraid to ask for feedback. Sometimes we do not want to hear feedback because we are afraid they will criticize us. Develop an understanding that critiques are a good thing because they make you better in the end.
Outline Your Course in a Logical Way
Without knowing your precise topic, it is difficult to lay out for you an exact approach in outlining your online courses. However, we can certainly discuss this in general terms – and we should because it is very important.
As you break up your course content into lessons and sections, it needs to flow in a useful way. For instance, you should lay out on paper, or on a spreadsheet, what knowledge is dependent on other knowledge. This exercise will lead you to what should be addressed first.
Next, there will be some knowledge that is totally independent of other content in your course. This is where you categorize content and group it into sections.
Finally, you should determine which sections should be taught first, second, and so on. Look back on how you first learned the material and let this determine a logical sequence. After you have done this, then sleep on it and examine it on another occasion to see if it still makes sense.
Each section should gradually lead students to the end result that we discussed earlier.
Shorten the Length of your Lectures
A decade or so ago when video courses first started coming out, it was very common for marketers to cram as much content as possible into their courses. This was because that everyone in those days believed that more content equaled more value. This principle was also applied to the length of lessons as well as we began seeing video lessons that were hours and hours in length.
Since then, we have learned that the opposite is actually truer. Your customers will not care about the size of your course as long as your marketing promises are kept. In fact, it is like having meetings at work – shorter ones are usually more effective. Business experts discovered long ago that meetings beyond 40 minutes or so were not effective at all because attention spans can only withstand so much.
Let me ask you this, if I gave you a video course about creating online courses, would you be more likely to watch it if: 1) It was one 90 minute video, or 2) It was ten 10 minute videos?
I am guessing that most of you would pick number 2), even though you would need to watch 10 more minutes of material. This is because we dread watching a video that is 90 minutes long and we would have to plan a sizeable timeslot for watching it.
Secondly, if we have 10 short videos, we can then watch one or two now and perhaps another the next morning, and so forth. Not only that, we are more likely to remember the content of the entire video course more fully because we are taking small bites and we are not getting as mentally fatigued.
Create Lesson Titles That Entice Students
In today’s internet world, we all have heard the term “clickbait”. It is the practice of enticing people to click on your link by any means possible – even if it is deceiving. While we do not condone this practice, the same idea should apply to your Lesson Titles. Remember that it is not clickbait if you deliver on your promise.
The greatest bloggers online will tell you that they will spend 50% of their time writing a blog post, and the other 50% of their time crafting a title for that blog post. This is a strong illustration as to how important your Lesson Titles are. You can write the best lessons ever written, but if your titles are unimpressive, no one will ever read them.
Dedicating yourself to crafting high quality titles will immediately make you stand out among your competitors. The reason is 90% of all people who write online content will spend only about a minute or so writing the titles for that content.
I urge you to devote some time on each of these 7 steps to creating online courses. Think about this, what would happen if you were to improve just 5% on each of these seven steps? Can you imagine the improvement you would experience? It will put your business on another level.
If you are really serious about building an academy of online courses, then you should consider using the services offered at Teachable.
Teachable will host all of your video content, provide a platform for your students to view and download the content, and they will handle the payment process for you – which can be a huge hassle.
Believe me, all of these tasks in managing your online content is time consuming. If you let a service like Teachable handle it for you, then you can concentrate more on your bottom line.