If you’re like me, you’ve heard how simple it is for you to take what you know and create a course. Your mind starts spinning thinking of all the cool stuff you know that you’d like to share with others. And why not, when you can help others avoid the potholes in life that might throw them off track.
Teach what you know. Cool, create a course.
It all sounds easy, simple, and even intriguing that you could put together all that you know and offer it up to others. Not only share it with others but make some extra cash along the way. Of course, the course should be online for the masses to have access. Now you’re daydreaming about all the money rolling in as you smile, thinking about all the good you’re doing.
Helping people grow better tomatoes, be better parents, have better relationships, learn to write a book, how to create a better resume, and the list goes on. For almost anything you can imagine, there’s a course for it.
Creating Your Course Defined
I thought creating a course would be a good idea, along with 165 other people who signed up to learn how to create a course. My critique is not about the company that taught the course; they are highly reputable, but on what people should consider before taking this leap.
You may have an idea, something you know that everyone else should know as well, but is it keeping them awake at night? Some of the experts who sell courses are promoting the six-figure opportunity in front of you. What they will teach you is the opening to you making six-figures on your course. Oh, I’m excited.
Naturally, you get out your pad and pencil or fire up your laptop and start thinking of what your idea is. Like a deer in the headlights, you’re frozen thinking of your Big Idea.
Next, is the course sellable? Will your idea fly? Have you zeroed in on the big hairy problem that has to be fixed, or you’ll never get another night’s sleep?
Ok, so you think you have your idea. You’ve looked at the problem from all angles, and you’ve narrowed it down. You are now in the zone of inventing something before you know if anyone wants to buy it. Of course, you have to come up with the MVP, minimum viable product. You need to develop a version of the product, which allows you to get feedback to validate the idea.
This brings us to the next critical point. Who are you selling this to?
What to Do If You’re Not Sure About Your 'Who'
This is a significant roadblock. You have to know your WHO. I hear people say everyone needs this. Or, when we talk about how much you’ll charge, the pushback is, no one will pay that. The first thing you have to define is – who has money to pay what you are charging.
If you get this wrong, it will be your downfall. You can’t make six-figures with a $19.95 course unless you’re selling millions of them. The next step is to do a bit of math to determine the sweet spot of likely people in your prospect universe that might buy your course.
Does your ‘who’ have a big hairy problem they need help fixing NOW and have money to pay for it? You go to a course because you want a step-by-step guide to show you the way through the forest.
This all gets very tricky. It is beginning to look less fun and exciting the more I dive into this ‘let’s create a course idea.’ Now I’m having to think through way too many problems of my own.
Now that you’ve got a vague idea of your ‘who,’ the next question is where they are hanging out. Yikes, I hate this question, because now I have to become a super sleuth looking for people with problems. And not just any problem; they need to have the problem that I can solve. Cause I’m creating a fun and easy course.
As if the world doesn’t already have enough problems. It’s like a real-life version of the card game, GO FISH, where you ask everyone if they have the cards you want. Ugh, this is a problem.
I think I’ve found them. Maybe enough to give it a go. But some would suggest that you find your potential students from friends and family. This is another problem.
My friends and family don’t even know what I’m doing. They have no idea that I can solve business-to-business problems – or care. So, that idea goes out the window.
What’s the Payoff for the Student?
Naturally, you’ve got to offer some sort of payoff for taking the course. What’s the transformation they will experience after they have completed your course? You just have to have something meaningful. Because the next biggie question is, what’s your guarantee?
What, I’m just starting this thing – how can I give a guarantee, is the most common question the students in our course ask. We’ve forgotten that we have helped people figure things out; that’s why we’re doing this, right?
So, you promise that they will know what you know about fixing, solving, or overcoming the blight on your tomatoes. Or your money back. So simple that they freeze, thinking the money will be coming directly from their bank accounts, and they’ll be penniless. Well, maybe not.
How to write…
Do you like to write? Here’s your chance to write like a crazy person all that you know. But don’t go too far because you’re still in the MVP (remember minimum viable product phase), and you might trash the whole thing when you find out your students don’t want to know the gritty details of growing tomatoes. They have a different problem that you didn’t consider.
You need to write just enough to get them hungry. Here it is; this needs to be your Hungry Crowd. These have to be the people who are dying to know what you know.
Now you’ll also get a chance to write your website, script your video introducing yourself, and make your offer. If you’re advanced, you’ll also want to write a series of emails to those who opted into your email list on your website.
Course Creation Tips
Think twice about creating a course. Scratch that think about it way more than twice, sleep on it for a few days. Unlike me, I did think about it a few days but figured I could knock it out quickly – but I was wrong. I didn’t knock it out quickly; the noise from the course has put me in analysis paralysis, which is right where I was before I started.
It’s not fun, easy, simple, or quick. Many technical things have a learning curve attached to them, while you’re in a learning curve of creating a course. It’s like the Matrix; you’re inside a thing that inside another thing. If it sounds confusing, it is.
If you have a team, people to assist you – it could be fun. Still not easy. A team can tackle the different parts of the project like - research, validation, or writing.
The Next Steps
If you’d like help with your course, reach out to me. I have walked in these shoes, sneakers, sandals, or flip-flops to feel your challenges. Yes, a class can launch your business to new levels, or it can distract you from more profitable opportunities.
Consider the opportunity costs before launching a course.
In summary: There’s a huge demand for learning. Some people don’t have time to watch YouTube videos until their eyes fall out trying to learn a new skill. They are willing to invest in themselves to reach their goal faster with a course.
If you'd like to chat about your next project, reach out at Linda@shinyobjectmarketing.com
Linda James Bennett; day 26 of 365 writing an article every day, making you a shiny object in the world.