The online course industry is booming and with great reasons. But what do you need before you create your very first online course?
Online courses make access to knowledge incredibly easy. And if you’re an online business owner or service provider, it’s a great way to create more impact and help a wider range of people.
But there are a lot of myths associated with creating and launching your first online course that are simply not true.
Some of the most common myths are…
- Needing a massive following on social media before you can create and sell your course
- Getting fully booked out with clients before you can launch your course
- Complete mastery of the topic or niche that your course will be on
While all of these are entirely not true, there are a few things you need to have in place before you create your very first online course. Luckily, you can very easily establish what you need after reading this post.
Ready? Let’s go!
7 Things You Need Before You Create an Online Course
Although you don’t need to have a massive audience or complete mastery of knowledge regarding the overall topic of your course, there are a few things you do need before you create an online course in order to make sure it sells successfully. Starting with…
1) An Engaged Audience
There’s a huge difference between having a large audience versus having an engaged audience. I know creators who have hundreds of thousands of followers who have a difficult time selling low-cost items like presets.
On the other hand, I also know creators with only a thousand or so followers who have successfully sold their higher-priced online courses.
It is more important to work towards fostering a tight-knit and engaged community. And in order to do this, you need to be very consistent with your social media presence by producing high-quality and valuable content.
This is a very important step that you don’t want to miss. So before you think about creating your online course, make sure that you’ve been consistently producing free content that nurtures your audience and positions you as an expert.
P.S. Need help with nurturing and growing a hyper-engaged community? The Influencer Bootcamp and The Blogger Bootcamp will teach you the most effective strategies to turn your cold audiences into hot leads. Best of all, the strategies I share will establish you as an authority in your niche.
2) Having Expertise in Your Niche and Course Topic
Another myth of creating an online course is needing complete knowledge of the niche or course topic you’re teaching. While you do absolutely need to have expert knowledge, you don’t have to know everything.
For example, The Influencer Bootcamp teaches students how to grow engaged communities and monetize through brand collaborations on Instagram.
I released the first iteration of it back in 2018. Needless to say, the platform has evolved dramatically since then. And in 2018, I had no knowledge of creating short-form video content (aka Reels). But since its release, I’ve taken the time to learn, experiment, and gain the knowledge I need to provide the expertise necessary in my course updates.
You don’t need to know every single thing about your niche and topic. But you do need to be a few steps ahead of your audience.
A great way to approach this topic is by asking yourself “what did I wish I knew about my niche/course topic 5 years ago?” Chances are, your audience is exactly where you were 5 years ago. If your online course can expedite and achieve the transformation for them, they’re likely to enroll.
3) Demand for Your Course Topic
Spending your precious time and energy on creating an online course that doesn’t sell sucks. This is why I’m a huge advocate for knowing that there’s a demand for your course topic before you begin creating your online course.
There are several ways in which you can validate your online course topic.
The best way to do this? Talk directly to your audience and your clients and ask them what it is they would love to learn from you.
You can have real-time conversations with your audience or clients to pick their brains. But you should also be creating content on your social media platforms, blog, email list, and podcast in order to assess your audience’s interest in your potential course topic.
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4) A Course Format or Type
Before you jump into creating your very first online course, you need to decide what format or type your course will be. What I mean by that is you need to know if your students learn better through…
This will become the determining factor in how you create your course.
Say you decide to create a text-based course because that is your preference when it comes to learning. However, the majority of your most engaged audience learns better through video lessons.
You’ve just wasted a lot of time and energy creating a course that doesn’t fit your audience’s learning style.
Just like you would when you’re making sure that there’s a demand for your course topic, ask your audience which course format or type they’d prefer.
5) An Outline of Your Course Curriculum
Having an outline of your course curriculum is crucial to creating a high-quality online course. Essentially, this outline will map out the lessons that your student will go through in order to achieve their desired results.
Doing so will also help you identify any material you’d like to provide your students in addition to the lessons themselves. For example, you might find that adding a worksheet or exercise could help them implement the tips and advice you teach in the lesson for better understanding.
6) A Launch Strategy
Although your launch strategy won’t technically kick in until you’ve started creating your online course, it’s a great idea to have one in the works beforehand.
Your launch strategy is the key to getting students to be aware of your course and getting them to enroll. This is why you want to carefully map out when, where, and how you’re talking about and promoting your online course.
And to leave you with a pro-tip, you’ll want your launch strategy to start before your course is launched. One of the biggest mistakes I see amongst course creators is that they only start mentioning their online course once it’s completely done.
Sitting down to formulate a strategic launch strategy will give you a content plan to follow, but it’ll also make sure that you’re talking about your course at the right time so that your audience will be ready to enroll when the time comes.
7) Your “Why” for Creating an Online Course
Last but not least, you’ll want to be absolutely certain of your “why” behind creating an online course. Creating an online course is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Although it’s an incredible asset to your business and income generator (when done correctly), it requires a lot of determination, patience, and hard work.
Making sure that you’re genuinely excited and passionate about the topic that you’ll be teaching in your course will ensure that you stay motivated. And when you stick with it, having an online course will allow you to scale your business massively.
Planning and Creating Your First Online Course
Adding an online course to your product suite is one of the best ways to truly establish a passive stream of income. But I get it. With a lot of hearsay and myths floating around the course creation space before you can launch an online course of your own, it can feel daunting.
However, it’s incredibly important to remember that anyone can create an online course as long as you have these 7 things in place. While there’s a lot more that goes into creating an online course, these 7 things are foundational elements that need to be in place, to begin with.