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The 9 Steps To Create Your Own Online Course

Written by: Kimberly Viera, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Kimberly Viera

Are you wanting an opportunity to personally engage your audience, offer them great value, and turn them into lifelong repeat buyers?


Man sitting at table using laptop

One way to accomplish this is with an online course.


Businesses are offering educational opportunities in every niche. This is a strategy that requires little effort and provides excellent results.


Your audience needs your help with the problems they’re facing. When you’re there to offer this and help them get real results, they’ll turn into loyal brand advocates and tell their friends about you.


Through an online course, help with their problem can be given to your audience in a personal and effective way. Online courses will establish a reputation for your expertise and brand you as an authority in this area.


There are 9 steps and moving parts to setting up your online course. Here’s how you can get started now


Know your audience


For your online course to be a success, it needs to be interesting and relevant to your audience.


The best online courses tackle problems people are currently facing and offer an immediate solution.


In order to create an effective and efficient course, you must know your audience well so that you can target the kind of help they need. If your course provides this help, it’ll be an assured success.


  • How well do you know your audience?

  • Do you have an ideal customer profile?


Before planning your course, you should take some time to review and update what you know about your target audience.


Pick the perfect topic


A great deal of the success or failure of your online course is determined by the topic you choose. Spend some time brainstorming and trying out different ideas, and then narrow your choice down to the optimal option.


There are several factors to consider when selecting the best topic for your course.


Your passion. The topic should be something you’re passionate about. Choose something you can talk about all day. Your excitement will come through and infect the participants.


Your area of knowledge. It should be something you know well. The whole point is to impart your expertise to the participants. What things do you most often help people with? What topics were your best-performing content about?


Useful for your audience. The most important thing is that it’s useful for your audience and the urgent problem they are facing. Think of things you can teach them to do. They should walk away from your online course with a “quick win” or new skill.


Choose course format


There are many course types you can choose from.


At this point, you know your audience well and have chosen a topic to cover. Now you should determine how you’ll deliver this knowledge.


You can offer a mini-course that’s just a few sessions or a longer course that stretches over weeks or even months.


You’ll have to decide how much content will be online and how much in person. Some courses are held entirely online.

 

Another consideration is a mix of live vs. pre-recorded or working at home. The coursework may all be done during sessions, or there could be workbooks and other outside assignments for participants.


Finally, you should consider whether to add some form of assessment. This is a test that participants complete at the end of the course to demonstrate they’ve mastered the material. You can also offer a certificate.


How do you decide on the format? First, consider your audience’s tastes. What do you know about their preferences? If you’re not sure, you can test your ideas by asking them.

 

Create an outline


Now that you have chosen your topic and format, you can make an outline for your course. You don’t need to have all the content ready right now, but it’s a good idea to break the topic down into parts for further planning the course. Once you have the outline, you can start creating marketing materials telling people what’s included.


If your course will teach people how to do something, try to find a logical way to break it up into bite-sized pieces. Identify the major steps along the way.


One way to accomplish this is to include a learning activity at the end of each module or session. You can then work backward filling in the content the participants will need to know and what they’ll need to do to reach their goal.


This will also help you decide what additional learning materials you’ll need at different points during the course, such as templates or worksheets.


If you’re not sure how to break up a topic, there are some ways you can get ideas. One is to find books on Amazon about the topic you’ve chosen. Look at the table of contents to see how they organize the information.

 

Choose a platform


The next step is to get your tech together for the online course. You can offer an online course without a great deal of tech hassles. Choose a platform that’s easy for everyone to use and test it so you’re familiar with it ahead of time.


The best place to start is considering platforms you and your customers already use. For example, if you already communicate with them through Zoom or a social media site like Facebook, this would be the least complicated.


The main consideration is ease of use. It’s okay to skimp on features as long as you’re sure that everyone can easily log in, attend sessions, and communicate through the platform.

 

Pricing your online course


The first decision when pricing your course is to decide whether you’re going to charge for it or offer it for free.


There are benefits to offering a free course. You’ll get more people to sign up and receive the value it offers, which means more exposure and brand recognition. You can also use it as a lead magnet to get people to sign up to your list.


However, there are reasons to consider charging for your online course. When people pay for a course, they feel committed. You may have fewer people signing up, but they’ll be more engaged and will get more out of the course. Paying a fee makes them feel invested in getting the most out of it.


Conduct some market research to discover at what price points your target audience will pay. It can be a reasonably priced course in the middle of your sales funnel to qualify leads, or a high-ticket item at the end of your funnel packed full of value.


Look at similar courses to see what they’re offering to get ideas on pricing.


Add more value


If you plan to charge for your online course, you might consider giving it some added value. When you pack the course with more value, you can charge more for it. Value can be added with little cost to you.


Put yourself in the shoes of your participant. What extra material would help you master the course? For example, a cheat sheet or a resource guide might help to make the task easier. There may be templates or a software program that will help. Try to think of an idea that will cost you nothing to produce.

 

Plan your marketing


How will you reach your audience and tell them about your course? Identify the marketing channels you’ll use and the message you’ll deliver to explain the benefits and unique value of your specific course.


Planning your marketing also means identifying where your course fits into your sales funnel. Will you use your course as a lead magnet to attract new leads, or as a low-ticket offer to qualify them? Or it could be your final high-ticket offer at the end.


This plan should also include how you’ll build expertise through helpful content posted elsewhere. For example, you might have a blog or an active social media presence where you’re already building your brand. If people there see you as an expert authority, it will be easy to get them to sign up for your course.


Other elements of your marketing plan might include creating YouTube videos, seeking speaking engagements, and leveraging social proof.

 

Set your launch date


The final step is to set a launch date for your course. Try to imagine a time when your audience will be most receptive. It often helps to align with a holiday or major event. Over time, you’ll figure out the times of year that work best. It’s good to set the date a few months out so you have time build buzz and promote your course.

 

You’ll learn how to master online courses through trial and error so hurry up and get started. After your first run, reflect and figure out what worked and what didn’t so you can do even better next time.


Want to learn more about how you can grow your audience and sell more through offering online courses? Head over here.


Follow me on Facebook and visit my website for more info!


Kimberly Viera Brainz Magazine
 

Kimberly Viera, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kimberly Viera is on a mission to help every woman become financially independent and gain control over her life by starting an online business. As the founder of JoinTheEveolution, she helps women build transformational coaching and wellness businesses that earn them a sustainable living within a year while giving them the time and lifestyle freedom they've been dreaming of. Stop Letting Things Happen. Start Making Them Happen. Join the Evolution.

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