It’s easy to look at other coaches who have created online courses that sell and get rave reviews and wonder how they did it.
The secret to their success goes way beyond marketing or having a big list.
Between getting the idea and having the finished course ready to launch, lies a scary and unknown zone of unchartered territory very similar to The Bermuda Triangle (warning: more triangle analogies lie ahead!).
It’s called: How to Actually Create A Course. You know, the bit after the idea and before the marketing.
What lies in this zone are 3 important questions that need to be answered before proceeding (for your own safety!):
1. What exactly am I going to cover in my course?
2. How do I pitch it to my audience so they want to buy it?
3. In what format do I deliver my course?
Heading into course creation mode without getting these questions right is likely to lead to one or more of the lands of self-doubt, procrastination and ‘OMG, should I really be doing this?’
Doing some smart planning before you start creating content or marketing your course will make all the difference. Imagine feeling calm and confident – and in control – when you know this formula.
I call it (drum roll!)…The Golden Triangle.
Any coach that has created a successful online course has got 3 things right: Expertise, Demand & Style.
Building everything from your expertise should be the foundation of your course. There’s no need to mimic other courses already out there. You have a unique blend of skills, knowledge and life experiences to draw from that’ll mean you’ll never have to compete with other coaches.
Let yourself off the hook of covering everything. Why spread yourself thin to topics you’re not confident on just because you think you need to cover them? Focus in on the things you really enjoy and specialize in and you’ll see the positive results.
Your expertise is a combination of practical takeaways (steps, methods, strategies, tools) and less tangible but still important outcomes (e.g. building confidence in self-promotion, finding clarity about branding, developing a positive body image). Get clear on what combination your course will deliver.
Finding out what your audience or potential market is looking for is an important step to take before you spend time mulling over videos and worksheets. Choose your topic where the demand lies and you are best placed to fill it.
Once you’ve chosen your topic you need to focus the specific content on what your audience needs to learn to achieve their desired goals. What is important to them (not just interesting for you)? Consider their existing level of knowledge and skills in the topic you will be teaching.
Understanding what your audience is wanting to achieve and what they struggle with is essential to finding the right words for marketing your course. Step out of expert mode and into their ‘I’m new to this’ shoes in order to get the language right.
The format that you deliver your course in will depend on your topic, your audience and how you work best. You may want to run a group coaching program with live calls and some pre-prepared course materials or build a fully DIY self-study course complete with teaching videos or audios, instructional trainings and written handouts.
Your chosen format will affect how much interaction there is between you as the teacher and your audience. What extra value could having a forum for your customers to ask questions provide when you’re selling your course?
Once you’ve decided on your format, you’ll need to create the pre-prepared teaching materials. How you personalise your course to match your brand and maximise your communication strengths while keeping within your budget and time constraints?
Getting the right mix of Expertise, Demand and Style figured out before you dive into creating your course is what I recommend to all my clients.