20 Practical Tips To Creating A Winning Online Course
It may not come as any surprise to you that online courses have boomed in 2020. COVID19 threw a huge spanner in the works for anybody that offered only face-to-face coaching and consulting services only. The question of how to take their in-person services into the online world left many confused and overwhelmed. Fortunately, the answer for most has been simple...well in theory anyway.
But how do you go about creating an online course that is going to sell?
It’s not as hard as you might think.
Here are my top 20 tips for creating a winning (and selling) online course.
- The right topic. Be sure to pick a topic that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. But...be sure it’s one that people want to learn about. You may love all things Harry Potter, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to sell a course about Harry Potter. (side note, there are actually some courses about Harry Potter out there)
- Engaging learning outcomes. This is something that somehow gets missed A LOT. Create learning outcomes that will excite and entice your potential students, and let them know exactly what they’re going to learn from your course.
- Have a measure of success. On top of letting your students know what they can hope to achieve, you should also set some course goals for yourself that are specific, realistic and measurable.
- Know Your Audience. You’ve probably heard the cliche “if you’re trying to be everything to everyone, you’ll be nothing to anyone”. The same thing can be said around who you’re marketing your course to. If you’re not the type of person that can sell ice to Eskimos, you need to know who is likely to be interested in your course and market it to them.
- Presell your course. This is not a case of ‘build it and they will come’. Preselling your course is a critical step in having a winning course. Guage the interest of your prospective buyers and get rid of any ideas that are going to be a waste of time, money and effort.
- Market your course through multiple platforms. When it comes time to selling, you shouldn’t limit your marketing efforts to one place only. Use your social audience and your email list to get those students.
- High Converting Sales Page. Don’t scrimp on this area. Creating a high converting sales page may require a bit of time and energy, but the pay off is going to be worth it. A sales page that is clean, intuitive and gives prospective students all the information they need to buy your course is really important.
- Decide on your payment model. You want the purchase process to be as simple and painless, so deciding on a payment model that is consistent, flexible and provides options is best.
- Keep marketing while you’re creating. Even if you presell your course dont stop marketing while you create it. A winning course (and a sold-out course) requires a marketing machine leading into it.
- Choose a killer platform! Choosing the best platform for your needs and your course is crucial to your course success. With a huge range of platforms to choose from, it can get overwhelming. My favourite platform for your online course (for everything actually) is Simplero **...you're reading this blog on Simplero :)
- Multi-media is a game-changer. Mixing the media in your course is a great way to boost engagement and to make sure that you’re covering the different learning styles of your students. Use multimedia formats like video, audio and written form.
- Research before you create. It’s important that you know your course content, but make sure you conduct in-depth research on your topic before you start creating. You want to be accurate and relevant, so being up to date on your topic will be important.
- Visuals are actually important. Now..content is King, but that doesn’t mean that your course shouldn’t look amazing. You want it to be visually appealing, user-friendly and on-brand, so when designing your content keep that in mind.
- Create thorough lesson plans. Create lesson plans that specifically list everything that you’re going to do, say, and upload into each lesson. This will make sure that you tick everything off your list and that nothing is missed in the mix.
- Create a domain that reflects your course. Most course platforms and landing page builders allow you to add a custom domain to them. Adding a domain that reflects your course name will keep things consistent, recognisable and memorable. You can create subdomains on your current domain, or purchase a domain specifically for your course.
- Create an extensive email list. Factor in building an extensive email list as you market. This will allow you to market your current and future courses. If you don’t have a big list to market to, consider building it up before you start launching. You can do that with a lead magnet, social media posts and ads. If list building is new to you, you can get your hands on my email list building blueprint right here.
- Keep a consistent brand. While you’re marketing on different sites, it’s important to keep your brand voice consistent across them all. Your message and brand identity will be the same...just adapt it to the platform you’re marketing on.
- Soft Launch first. Once you’ve created your content, host a soft launch to draw in more customers. You can give these customers a special discount for being your beta testers, and get feedback on the user experience, technical issues, grammar and spelling problems. This sort of information is invaluable to delivering a winning course.
- Edit and improve. After you’ve done your soft launch, take everything that you’ve learned from those first students and edit and improve your course. Bonus tip...get social proof from these students; ask for testimonials, video testimonials, Facebook posts etc.
- Hard launch your online course. Launch big and hard. You will have been marketing the whole time but now it’s time to go big. Make some noise and get your course in front of your ideal clients.
And that’s it...my top 20 tips for creating a course that is going to wow and deliver.
For a step-by-step guide to creating your course, get your hands on my course creation Trello board right here.
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