Part 3 - The Nuts and Bolts of Creating My First Online Course

Have you had an online course brewing in your brain for some time now? If you are overwhelmed with the idea of actually going from idea to product, start with Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Breaking down a big task such as creating an online course really is the key to achieving your goal. I have broken the process down into 10 steps, from idea to execution including the very important part of sales and marketing your course. 

In part 3 you will learn about some of those steps, post content creation, that are super important to the success of your online course. After all, what is the point of having one if users all over the world don't get to benefit from it!

Step 7 to Creating an Online Course - Pricing and Beta Testing

What are you going to charge? Checking out the competition is a great way to start as you are trying to pinpoint a price point. What are other people charging? How do their courses compare with yours in terms of what they are offering and promising? Who is your audience and what can they afford? There is a sensitive balance here: You don’t want to undervalue your course but you also don’t want to price your ideal clients out. 

Because I am my ideal client, or at least I was when I was stuck in a job I hated, one of my main criteria in selecting the price was asking myself how much I would have paid for such a course when I most needed it. Finances were tight then, so I wanted to make sure that somebody in my position, stuck and desperate for change, could afford and would pay the price I was asking. Many similar courses were charging a lot more, and there were some charging less, but I settled on a number that I knew would have made it accessible to me when I needed it most. 

After months of looking at the content, adding and editing things, I needed some fresh sets of eyes to look at the course, from beginning to end. What better way to do that than have some people who have a need or interest in the class to take it for free as a beta tester! It is a win- win!  They get to go through a life changing process, and I get their feedback and testimonials! I offered the opportunity to friends, family, and connections from social media groups, and got about ten people to sign up to take the class for free. This was my way of making sure that everything worked properly once people started paying. Another great thing about Kajabi is that you can go in and make changes at any point, even if people are currently going through the course. 

Step 8 to Creating an Online Course - Adding Bonus Features

You have established what the wonderful features are of your course and what the course- taker will walk away with in terms of information or a new skill. Is there anything else you can offer to sweeten the deal? Is there a private community they will have access to where they can share their experience and connect with others on the same journey? Facebook Groups, Mighty Networks, or Slack are just a few of the options for creating communities. 

It wasn’t until I had my ten beta testers going through the course that I came up with some of my favorite bonus features. 

Did you know that the completion rate of online courses in general is as low as 5-15%? Even on the high end, at 20%, it means that only one in five people is getting the full value of your course! Admit it, you know you’ve signed up for a course and never completed it. Maybe you never even started it! This is another reason not to charge too little - if somebody isn’t invested in the course, they may never even start it.

The two bonuses I decided to offer my clients both to sweeten the deal and to improve completion rate are:

  1. I offer two hours of office hours each week. All of those who are currently enrolled in the course will have access to a private Zoom room where they can pop in, ask questions, and add an extra layer of accountability onto their experience. It could turn into a private coaching session if nobody else shows up! That would more than pay for the course in one session!
  2. This one is my favorites. Because Kajabi offers an affiliate program, I can also have affiliates sell my products for a percentage of the sales. Anybody who completes From Stuck to Success will receive an affiliate link that they can promote to friends, family, on social media, or wherever they see fit. If somebody purchases the course through their link, they will receive one-third of the earnings for the sale of that course.

Step 9 to Creating an Online Course - Selling and Marketing

Once your course is complete and ready to sell, you might think your hard work is done. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it is really just the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, you should absolutely take a moment to congratulate yourself on your accomplishment. You set a goal and you saw it through to completion. Most people never make it beyond the idea stage, and for that you should be very proud.  

But if you expect to publish your course and have people miraculously start signing up, you have another thing coming to you. So how do you reach people who might be interested in taking your course?

Here are a few ways to start marketing your course right away:

  1. Build a sales page, which is essentially a landing page with all of the information about your course including benefits, bonuses, and pricing along with a button so it can be purchased right away.
  2. Let your friends and family know as well as post on all social media, both personal and business accounts. You can create professional looking posts on Canva. If you have a budget, you can promote or boost your ads on Facebook and Instagram, place an ad with Google Ads, or place banner ads on websites that you know your ideal client will be visiting.
  3. Write a blog or a blog series about your course and/or about material that is related to your course. Include an ad for your course. If writing isn’t your thing, you can do the same with YouTube videos and/or podcasts. 
  4. If you already have an email list, email your list announcing your course. If you don’t yet have a list, you can create a freebie that has content related to your course. The freebie is something that your ideal client might sign up for, thus giving you their email address. This would start a sales funnel. You can create a series of emails that deliver value as well as promoting your course. The freebie can be a video, a blog post, a PDF, a series of emails, an ebook, or anything that you can think of that provides value and is related to your course subject.  

Step 10 to Creating an Online Course - Celebrate Your Achievement and Upsell

Congratulations! You have done it! Please take a moment to congratulate yourself and acknowledge that you set a goal, went after it, and achieved it. Many go years or their whole lives with an idea in their head, but if you make it to this step, then you have really done it. No matter what happens, you followed through. That should be celebrated.

You have created one product, and possibly a freebie at this point. How does this fit into your overall business? Do you have a suite of products and this is just one? Is there a way you can upsell or is there a way that your client can move on to the next step after completing your course?

For example, I also offer weekly one on one sessions along with the course if somebody wants extra support and coaching as they go through the course. As I mentioned, online course completion rates are extremely low, so the one on one addition offers an extra layer of accountability along with all of the other insights the client would receive with the personalized approach. I also offer special group coaching cohorts to graduates of the course who want to continue with their personal development journey. And, of course, they can continue with one-on-one coaching after taking the course as well. 

What are some other things you can offer once they complete your course?

  • A mastermind event or retreat
  • Another course
  • One-on-one or group services
  • A private membership program

With the world being what it is today, after a year or more of Covid shutdowns, the online learning and online business arena is in full swing. Now is the best time to take your knowledge and turn it into profit. 

What knowledge do you have that would benefit others?

In which subject would you consider yourself an expert?

What idea have you been waiting to share?

Let’s put that into motion. Contact me for a free strategy session and I will help you create a  plan. Work one-on-one with a coach throughout the process to ensure that you get it done this time around, and in a timely fashion. Set a date. In three months, you could be looking at a published course, or you could still be sitting there on your idea. Which sounds better?

Don't forget to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series to make sure you have all of the steps down to get started creating your first online course.

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