How To Create Online Course [Productivity Hack Included]
Looking to create an online course to leverage yourself and teach students, business owners, etc? You are in the right place. We are going to go into an overview and some details about creating an online course.
I'm going to show you how to create an online course, how to structure your online course, and even show you how you can create an online course for free. I am going to speak from my personal experience as well as research I have done on creating an online course.
Since my background is in real estate, I'm going to touch on the real estate industry from time to time. I know a lot of industry leaders within real estate that “kind of” want to develop a course for aspiring real estate professionals but haven't done so yet. I'm talking about real estate coaches, I'm talking about real estate agents. I'm talking about real estate investors, real estate, mortgage brokers.
Just overall business owners. Or even if you just have something to teach and share. This article will help you understand what resources you need to build an online course. I specialize in digitization. That means I'm going to guide you through digitizing your course, your media, your content, your business, whatever it is.
Choose a Subject/Industry/Target/Niche
The first thing you're going to need to do is to come up with a course topic and course subject. What are you going to talk about? What's something that you care about? What do you have passion about? What profession are you in? Do you have professional experience? These are all great topics to consider for your online course.
Starting out, I suggest you do most of this out on paper. I want you to physically write everything down. Write everything that you can on paper just to get the ideas and concepts out of your head.
Here are some ideas to consider when developing a subject/topic/niche and examples:
- Solving A Problem
- How To Correctly Generate Off-Market Real Estate Leads On Facebook.
- Teaching And Helping To Develop A Skill
- How To Manage And Run Your Own Facebook Ads [CORRECTLY]
- Your Knowledge and Expertise On A Specific Subject
- Facebook Ads For Real Estate Investors and Real Estate Agents [Best Practices]
- Helping A Person Get To The Next Level
- From Facebook Novice To Facebook Pro in 60 Days – For Real Estate Investors/Agents
So to recap step one
Come up with a subject/niche that you can target — or a problem you can solve — and even consider focusing on a specific industry.
Most will have a subject or niche before stumbling upon this article and will require implementation only.
Here are a few examples:
Research Your Topic/Subject
Research the competition. I want you to research your topic and your industry. See what competitors are available. See who's out there. See who's already creating courses. Find out how present they are online — see out their “digital real estate” and digital presence. Are your competitors only available in specific markets, or available to specific industries? Do they focus on a specific niche within the industry?
The reason you need to research your competition, as well as the subject, is because you don't want to go after a subject that is too saturated. We want you to be an expert. But we want you to be an expert on a topic that's relevant and profitable. A topic that will bring you traffic.
There will be some tools that can help us optimize subject matter for keyword research and SEO but nonetheless if there's no market or audience for a product and/or service, it's not a great idea to build an entire course about that particular subject.
For example, a common subject would be something like How To Create A Facebook Page. The focus of an online course around that specific subject may not make a lot of sense because there are so many tutorials available — and so many people showing how to create that type of content, solve that problem.
Another course that wouldn't be ideal — in my personal opinion would be something such as How To Make A Video. That's a highly competitive target market to go after and the subject is too generic. It would be difficult to beat out the competition for such a broad topic, especially when starting out.
Now again, we can modify and adjust our keywords and targeting to bring in a high volume audience. But we don't want our course or subject to be just about that generic phrase only. We need it to be more defined and more targeted. We want it to be something that you're an expert in. But we also don't want it to be too competitive.
Be Sure To Solve A Problem
So a good example is let's take for example, how to make a video. Let's change that, and let's make it more specific.
So… “How To Use Video Marketing As A Small Business” is a better example and a better niche to target. It's not too generic. It’s very specific and it has a specific audience. There could be some competition, but it's not highly competitive, and it’s not too generic.
Make sure that you're not creating content for a niche, or subject that is not sought after. So an example would be “how Jerome Lewis runs his business.”
That's not something people are going to search for a seat on a large scale. That is specific to that individual person. So you want to think about your audience when you're creating this content. In this course, think about your audience and how they will benefit.
This is where we talk a little bit about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keyword research. This will affect and influence how we title and describe our course. We have to title it correctly.
We have to title the course, in a way that will make it searchable, but also appealing. So let's take, for example, the video for small business owners. That was an ideal way to title a course.
“How To Do Video Marketing for Small Business Owners.” That's a great title because it tells you what you're getting as a customer. And it also focuses on keywords such as “video marketing” and “small business owners.” You combine those two keywords “Video Marketing for Small Business Owners.” That's a sought after search term which can also be discovered and suggested based on only part of the keyword phrase.
And you can find out more about that by using some keyword research tools such as the ones listed right here.
Pricing Your Online Course
Something else that you want to think about is your pricing. How much are you going to charge for your course? Is it going to be a free course? Will it be a mid-priced course? Will it be an expensive course? You have to determine your course cost by determining the value you provide.
Be careful not to price your course too cheaply in the beginning. Avoid the fatigue of pricing too cheaply and not being rewarded enough for your efforts. I’ve had several clients realize, “Hey, I'm actually putting a lot of my effort into this course and it’s not providing the ideal return on investment(ROI). Maybe I should up the price?”
Upon my research and my experience, I've learned that the best price for selling a course in my industry (real estate) is about $1,000. However, about $1,000 would be expensive in another industry such as makeup for example? A makeup tutorial, that could be too expensive, I'm not exactly sure. But $1000 could be way too expensive for a makeup tutorial. Especially considering how things are available on YouTube.
Here’s a situation:
Let's say you have specialized knowledge in a particular industry. We'll use real estate since I'm in the real estate industry. If I were to charge $10 for a course that I spend several hundreds of experience learning within real estate and only charge $10, I’d be cheating myself by undercharging because my experience, knowledge, and expertise is worth more than $10 per hour.
Say I dedicate 20 hours to the course. That’s a minimum of $200 I should be charging for the course. Charging a mere $10 for this course is a disservice to me and my business. Give some thought to pricing your course, you don't want it too cheap, you don't want it too expensive.
Pricing Your Course — Low Pricing vs High Pricing
There’s an art to pricing. I recommend that you do this: I recommend that if you don't know exactly what price, you're going to choose a little bit more expensive price.
For example, let's say you wanted to charge $300 for your course… And then you find out a little bit later that that might be a little bit too much for your audience in your industry.
Here’s a great marketing psychology tip: What you can do is discount your course/product. It’s easier to offer a discount on a product that’s too expensive than it is to up the price on a product that is too cheap.
Your course costs $300 but based on feedback, input, and experience you learn that it will be better to offer your product/course at $150, which is about half price. You can give your prospect/students/customers a discount code. Or you can run a special on the pricing and name the special accordingly.
“I have this $300 course and I'm only charging $150 for it.” Whereas if I started at a low price. Let's say I started at $150. And now I think the course is worth $300. I have to justify an extra $150 in value in order to go up in that price. Not a lot of audiences are going to receive that well. So in general, it's best to price it higher and to take it lower. So people know or perceive that they're receiving a discount.
Research Your Competition To Price Your Course
Another good example of how to come up with a price for your course is to research your competition. What is your competition charging for courses? Can you charge the same? Can you charge a little bit less and provide more value? Can you charge more because you'll provide more value? Research your competition, find out what they're charging. Price your course according to the value you provide– and according to your industry.
Consider if you have a mini-course or full-blown course. If you have a mini-course you typically want to charge a little less. Mini-courses are great for introducing prospects to the value they will receive from you. If you have a full-blown course you can charge more. Consider how much content when you provide. if you're providing just bite-sized pieces of content and bite-sized information, you would consider it a mini-course and you can charge less for that.
If you're charged, if you're providing a ton of value, you can charge a lot more if you're providing a ton of content and a ton of value. In theory, you can price any of these courses any way you want. But the best practice is to charge less for mini-courses. You want to charge a little less. And the full-blown course you want to charge a little bit more. Either way, be sure to get your times worth when developing these courses.
So when structuring your course, I want you to think of the overall and top-end view.
Let's call it your skeleton, I want you to think of the skeleton of your courses. The basics. Think about the main points of your course. For example, I'm a real estate agent and I specialize in digital marketing. So the way I would name and designate these modules is as followed:
- How To Use YouTube For Your Real Estate Business
- How To Use Instagram For Your Real Estate Business
- How To Use Facebook For Your Real Estate Business
- How To Use Google/SEO For Your Real Estate Business
- Using Video Marketing For Your Real Estate Business
- Blogging For Your Real Estate Business
Each of these things will be part of my overall course but they will also contain mini-lessons and mini-modules within them.
The YouTube module, How To Use YouTube For Your Real Estate Business — would contain the following submodules: how to set up your YouTube page, best practices for YouTube as a real estate professional, why you should use YouTube as a real estate professional when the ideal time is to activate your YouTube presence as a real estate professional.
Here's another example. I have a mentor who taught me how to wholesale real estate. We are working on creating and developing a course so he can leverage his time and experience.
The overall topic and subject would be something like this: How To Invest In Real Estate, How To Buy Real Estate Investments, Investing In Real Estate, etc.
- Module 1 – what is real estate investing,
- Module 2 – how to get started in real estate investing,
- Module 3 – creative real estate investing,
- Module 4 – commercial real estate investing,
- Module 5 – farmland real estate investing,
These are examples of how you will structure your course modules. Within each of these modules, you will create the course content and the mini-modules. I guess we can call it the specific subjects about the topic. For example, if we go back to my example above about digital marketing, there are some very specific things underneath Facebook ads that I will have to address. I will make each one of those things a subtopic of my module.
If we're going to do Facebook Ads.
- Module 1 – Setting Up Your Account For Facebook Ads Success
- Module 2 – Setting Up A Successful Facebook Ad Budget
There are many modules underneath the main module that we need to set up and address so our client and our customer can benefit from the course that we are creating.
Using Video Content
We strongly suggest that you use video content. Video content is more engaging and it provides a better experience by engaging several senses. Video content engages visual/eyes and engages hearing/audio. Video content helps build trust it's duplicatable. And it’s demonstrative.
Video marketing and video content are essential in today’s online landscape. It's also perceived to be more valuable than all the other content media. A statistic that I like to share on my YouTube channel — is the video statistic of how often a video is shared online and through social media.
Compared to the other forms of media such as text and images — The stat shows that his video was shared 12 times more– 1,200% than all of the other social mediums combined. So share, generate, and produce video content. We also strongly suggest you include yourself within the videos where possible because it helps build trust and it helps that client prospect begin to understand who you are as a person and who you are as a brand.
Branding Your Course and Yourself
“A brand is an identifying symbol, mark, logo, name, word, and/or sentence that companies [individuals, or influences] use to distinguish their product from others. A combination of one or more of those elements can be utilized to create a brand identity. Legal protection given to a brand name is called a trademark.” – Investopedia
Your brand could also be who you are as a person, who you are as an individual. More than likely you are an individual that has some value to offer. By making videos your offer, and you'll give your personal brand. That's one of the reasons why I encourage video marketing, video demonstrations, and video tutorials.
You want to add that so customers are familiar with your brand and who you are. Don't skip out on your branding. Maintain your consistency, when writing out and developing your course content.
Productivity Hack For Creating Content
Here’s a quick bonus that will help you get to producing content quickly and efficiently! Instead of writing out your content and material — record it. Record audio and/or video. But I strongly suggest that you record video content. Even if you will not be in the video, it can capture the audio. This way you have audio content to translate. Video content is more popular than audio content so when it’s time to translate, edit, and modify your recordings — it will be a lot easier to do this if it’s video content.
Pay close attention here:
Use Otter.AI or Google Docs to produce your content. Instead of typing everything out you can dictate by audio and have either of the two software output the messages and content for you. In the instance of Google, you go to Google Docs and you find The Voice Typing feature. This will allow you to translate your speech live time.
With Otter.AI, you will be able to record audio and video files, upload those video and audio files — and the tool will transcribe the audio into text format. You will have to modify some of the text output — but it is still a lot better than typing out your entire message.
There's your productivity hack! This will save you a ton of time, frustration, and eliminate that “writer's block” that most content creators and authors get when composing content.
At the end of the article, we will talk about how you can started absolutely for FREE.
Done-For-You Service / Consultation
I strongly suggest you start for free using the link or button below.
But if this all seems a bit overwhelming for you or you still want assistance after the fact, feel free to schedule a consultation using the calendar.
Or if you just don't have enough time to develop, and maintain the course yourself — I'll help develop the course for you, as a service. You can access the calendar below to schedule a call so we can get started. Your total investment if you decide to use our service will be about $3,000.
Starting for free your total monetary investment will be $0.
Here’s some of what you’ll get:
- Your own semi-custom website
- Up to 5 hours of consultation, tech support, coaching
- Marketing consultation
- Social media consultation
- Video marketing consultation
- Technical support
- Social Media Page Set up
- Your choice of Instagram or Facebook
Start Building An Online Course For Free
Here’s the best part. If you have read to the end of this article, taken great notes, and are ready to start, you can get started for free.
I have done a ton of research and experimentation on different tools, platforms, technology, and software for a project like this. As they say, “by leaps and bounds” — the tool at the link below always comes out on top — hands down!
Click the link below to head over to the website to get started for FREE.