2020 has been an exhausting year and many of our possible plans did not go through as expected (to say the least…) How to start fresh and level-up your business in 2021 with online courses?
Creatives have already been busy exploring online courses and the benefits of creating one since 2013 and even way before. However, for many people, it was also a whole new world that was opened thanks to the almighty Corona.
We can notice people transferring from the offline world and in-person teaching to online courses. This has happened with many different niches but especially can be seen in fitness – yoga instructors and personal trainers selling their programs for easy access from home -, as well as driving schools, hobby classes, language teachers.
The good thing though: you don’t need to be a teacher to bring your knowledge online!
Coaches, designers, writers, photographers, wedding planners and even recruiters have used this time to turn their offline experiences into online income!
If you haven’t hopped on this train already, it’s time to level-up your business in 2021! And there is no better way to do this than with online course creation.
Level-up your business in 2021 with online courses
The concept of online courses
First of all, many people might think of courses like Cambridge offered online courses or something else fancy. But that’s not what we’re all about!
The shortest way to introduce you to online courses is by reviewing the concept of 1:1 versus 1:many.
For example, a freelance graphic designer can create 5 branding concepts within a month. However, the same designer can teach an unlimited amount of people to create their own branding concepts with online courses.
Creating an online course means bringing a specific set of knowledge into a teachable format and making it available for others.
This can include but is not limited to courses like video courses, actionable courses with to-do’s and worksheets, presentation-based online courses and way beyond.
While it might seem quite complicated and often sound like a mission impossible, these days there are plenty of different tools available that make online courses easy to create and distribute!
For example, Teachable offers a comprehensive course creation platform that gives you a chance to create Modules and Lessons, upload all the relevant info, build out a Sales page and sell it to whoever is your target audience!
What made online courses so popular?
While I don’t have any specific data on me, I like to believe that 2020 has been transformational for the idea of online courses.
Those who have worked online before might have heard or maybe even tried creating a course or two. But for plenty of people, this concept was still a mystery. Why & how it really gets done?! And the time and resource investments might seem unbearable.. (which is not true!)
However, now, once Corona took most of our freedoms away, keeping up with our lives online became the new normal. More and more people actually started exploring both teaching and learning online.
Your hairdresser got shut down? Find a course on how to give yourself a great haircut (possibly even bleach and style your hair for any occasion).
Got loads of free time to finally learn how to play guitar? Find a course online.
Your language school got shut down? They’re probably teaching online now.
Can’t meet up with your wedding planner? Use this time to plan your wedding all on your own, finding a related course online.
My point is, 2020 showed that not only all the “normal” things can be taught online but almost ANY business can turn their experience and knowledge into something useful people can learn online!
And this will stick well beyond the misery of 2020. Just the simple fact that online courses already WERE a big deal in the earlier years proves this. 2020 just made us even more used to this.
How to get started?!
Are you ready to level-up your business in 2021 with online courses but have no idea how to get started?
Below I will list a few of the things you can get started with! If you wish to dive head-first into course creation, make sure to check out Course Creation Lab!
The first steps to creating an online course
STEP #1: Come up with the idea
The perfect combo would be
your passion + experience + your audience’s needs covered
For example, my passion is creating online courses, my experience includes course creation, design and marketing, and my audience wants to learn how to turn their ideas into passive income. So Course Creation Lab as my product is a WIN. WIN. WIN.
Usually, this part starts with a bit of a brainstorming. Either you have many ideas or none at all for now, just put out a big piece of paper and dive into topics you’d like to cover.
Then, clarify your niche of expertise and see how you can become even more clear in these topic ideas.
After all, reach out to your audience and bulletproof your idea – make sure they’re actually interested in what you’ve come up with!
You can also include your audience in the process earlier. For example, create Insta polls regarding the topics they are the most interested in.
STEP #2: Create the content outline
Once you have your topic in hand, create the outline of what you’d want to teach.
Here it’s important to keep in mind the following points:
Your content should have a clear goal
The outline should make sense and create a clear sequence
On average, online course would consist of around 4-6 Modules with several lessons within each Module. The actual outline really depends on how big your course will be and how specific is the topic.
It’s important to not stuff too much info within one course. If you feel like you’re going extra, try to clarify your goal and maybe create a bonus or additional course instead (you can sell them as a bundle later!)
STEP #3: Choose the best platform
Oh, the almighty question of platforms!
I’ve tried and tested plenty of different course creation platforms but my favorite is clear: it’s Teachable!
Teachable is cost-effective, easy to use and with a great offer! It’s not too complicated for starters but it isn’t “cheap-looking” either. Besides that, they have an amazing team that is always working on additional updates.
Besides that, you can consider platforms like
- Podia: ideal for those who want to sell more than just online courses)
- Thinkific: similar to Teachable but with a less fun and nice-looking user-interface
- Kajabi: for those who need more than just a course creation platform!
STEP #4: Figure out the design part
Okay, this point could’ve been called differently but I decided to make it as “figure out” because of several reasons.
First of all, you DON’T HAVE TO do the design on your own if you don’t want to. You can hire a designer or a VA who can do this for you.
However, if you decide to work on the design on your own, it doesn’t have to be complicated or extra! You can design your Worksheets or Print pages on Canva.
There are also many great templates to get started with. For example, you’ll find a dose on Creative Market.
If you already have some design experience or maybe you’re eager to learn, you can also use other tools, for example, InDesign or Photoshop.
So, first of all, figure out which direction works the best for you and then proceed!
STEP #5: Create the content
Next up: the most exciting but also the most important part of the process. Content creation!
There are different types of content to consider:
- Video content
- Readable PDFs
The final decision depends on what will work the best for your content and audience. For example:
- Highly technical or in-depth info should be shown in a video or described in easy step by step tips
- Design, art or how-to related topics should always be shown in videos or presentations – if that makes sense
- Theory-based material can be provided in a written way
- Keep in mind what your audience might prefer (don’t hesitate to ask them too!)
STEP #6: Set up and promote!
Once your course is done, work on your Sales page and promo plan. More on than – in another article!
Stay tuned and find out all about the latest articles on our Instagram: @coursecreationlab
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