How to Build and Launch your Online Course

Have you been on the fence on deciding if you should launch your own online course in 2021?

Or maybe you, rightly so, want to add another income stream into your business model?

The idea of an online course excites you but you find yourself wondering on how to even begin?

You’ll find below a list of 8 Steps you need to take to get your online course launched.

1. Choose your topic

If you already have a business, then this is pretty simple.  It can either be something you are already doing for your clients and you want to automate.  Or you decide on a topic relevant to your business.

If you just want to create an online course then the topics are endless… Decide what you really really enjoy doing.  This could be something people have mentioned to you before or something you know you can make a living from.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Business
  • Technology
  • Health & Fitness
  • Lifestyle
  • Self Development

The list is endless, go onto Google and search “topics for online courses” and you will see what I mean.

2. Validate your topic

Next you want to make sure there is a demand for your course. There are a few ways you can accomplish this.

Go online and do research to see what comes up with regards to your topic. Are people searching for your topic? If yes, there you go.

Another way is to go through Facebook Groups. Use the search bar in the groups to see if people are talking about your topic and if they are asking questions. This reaps bests results if the group is relevant to your topic somehow.

Create a Survey / Poll on your social media. This is a great way to see what traction you will get and to see if your audience is ready to buy a course on your topic.

3. Decide on your pricing

Before you go any further, it’s time to decide on the pricing model of your course.

Is it a mini course that will function as a lead magnet to grow interest for your business or ultimately a larger course?

Is it going to be your only income stream or part of an existing income stream?

It all comes down to how much value you are offering. If you want to read extensively on how to price your course, READ HERE.

4. Create your course outline

Once all the research is done and you have gathered the information you need, its time to start planning your course outline.

From the beginning, it is wise to keep in mind the outcome your course will provide to your students. This is very important as it will not only help you with the structure and outline of the Sessions and Lessons, but it will help you tremendously when you start to market your course.

Your students need to know what they will get out of your course. What the end result will be for them. Keeping this in mind, will help you to create an outline that is easy to follow and will get your students that end result.

5. Decide on how you are going to deliver your lessons

Will you be using video, audio, ebooks? By deciding on how you are going to deliver your course from the beginning will help you to gather and start creating your content.

A combination of all the above is ideal but always keep in mind your target audience. I always believe that your target audience is exactly you. If you don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera, you don’t need to be there. You can always go presentation style. Create your slides and just add your voice over it. You can even create pdf copies that can accompany the slides.

6. Create your course outline and content

Now is the time to put all your ideas into a structured list. Start by making a list of all the topics you want to cover. Remember, this is not the time to deliver ALL your knowledge. Always keep the end result in mind. Most of the times, less is more.

Once you have your general list ready, break that down in subcategories. Do this as many times as you need so that your end result is clear as water.

Here’s an example:

Course Topic

Main Topic #1
SubTopic #1
SubTopic #2
SubTopic #3

Main Topic #2
SubTopic #1
SubTopic #2
SubTopic #3

7. Set up your Course Website

Now’s the time to decide where you are going to host your course. There are basically three options to choose from:

  • Course Marketplaces, see Udemy, Skillshare, etc.
  • Online Course Platforms, see Thinkific, Teachable, etc.
  • Your own WordPress website with LMS plugins.

I love WordPress and it’s the platform I recommend. So if you already have a website, using an LMS plugin is the way to go. However, if this is going to be your first course, and you don’t already have a website, I would highly recommend you go with Thinkific. They have a free plan that you can experiment with and see if your course goes well. You will always have the option to move your course later on to your WordPress site.

Only once you see that course creation is your new favourite business venture, I highly recommend you move to your own platform.

If you are not sure how to proceed, send me an email at catherine@sarantodesigns.com so we can chat about your idea and options.

8. Launch and Market your course

Your course is ultimately a product and as such you should to treat it!

You can start promoting it before you even start creating it! It’s called the Pre-Sell method. This means that you basically get financed to create the course as people are paying you before its done. This is a great way to get feedback and do alterations along the way. You do not need to give it away for free but if you are not comfortable charging full price, you can have an early bird pricing model.

Next is to promote on your social media, in Facebook Groups (when its allowed), run ads, partner up with others in your niche, go as a speaker on podcast or even create your own, to your email list if you have one.

Promoting your course is an ongoing activity. You can start promoting it from when you get the idea and grow an email list to sell it to. Your list will grow with time and maybe you won’t get the sales you want first time round, just hang in there and you will reach your goal!

Tiny steps lead to extraordinary results!

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