How to Create An Online Course

Hey, boss, it’s Sunny Lenarduzzi. Welcome to the Sunny Show for the bright side of branding, business, and being your own boss. Today I’m going give you my five steps for creating your online course. Now, I started making online courses a few years ago and I’ve learned a lot along the way. The beauty of online courses is that I went from working with a handful of clients to being able to scale my business, make a greater impact, and serve people all over the world. I’m able to have a greater impact by using online courses, packaging my knowledge into them, and selling them to people all over the place.

Step number one is craving. You need to make sure that your course solves a huge problem or an insatiable craving, because people might say, “Oh, that’s a really good idea. I’d buy that course.” But then when you launch it, nobody wants to buy it. So whatever you are selling has to solve a problem that someone is not willing to solve on their own or Google and they need your unique method to solve or satisfy that insatiable craving. So a really great question to ask when you’re trying to figure out your course idea is to survey your community, send an email to a few of your customers, and say, “What is your biggest struggle with X?”

Before we launched our course, YouTube For Bosses, a few months in advance, we surveyed our audience. The number-one question that we asked that gave us the best response for building the course and actually marketing the course was “What is your biggest struggle with YouTube?” So start there, and whatever your answers are, bank them, because you can actually use the answers when you market the course. So a lot of our responses were, “I really need more views,” “I need to know how to use YouTube for my business,” “I’m lost,” and we took some of those answers and actually put them into the writing for our website and the landing page for the course. That’s when people go, “Whoa. She’s reading my mind,” because we’re using the verbiage that they gave us. So to validate your course idea, ask questions and survey your audience and make sure that it’s something that is unique to you in your course.

Step number two, following up in that idea of craving. You want to make sure that your audience is kind of prematurely and psychologically committed to your program before you even sell it. So I’m not talking about Jedi mind tricks here, I’m not talking about anything crazy, but something simple that I do when I’m thinking about a project or a service is I’ll, again, ask my audience or throw it out there and see the response. This also validates your idea, because if the response is crickets, then you probably shouldn’t make that product or service. If it’s a huge response and there’s a ton of feedback, that validates that this is a really good idea and it also ensures that your audience is kind of primed and ready for when you do launch that program.

Step number three is, of course, your content. What is your teaching style? There are courses out there that are one-page PDFs. There are courses out there that are simply a checklist. There are video courses. There are all different kinds of courses. There’s live courses. I teach best on video, but my courses also incorporate checklists and PDFs and documents and strategies so that people can follow along and do those written pieces of the course along with the videos. So as far as content goes, this is probably the easiest thing that you need to figure out, because you are the expert at what you’re teaching and you’ve probably already been teaching it for years. Now you just have to figure out how you’re going to package it.

Step number four is your customers. So where are your customers going to come from? We kind of touched on this a little bit, but the best place for your customers to come from is your warm audience. So people who already know, like, and trust you. That’s why your email list is your most valuable asset as an online business. So start building your email list ASAP and if you have one, big or small, make sure that you’re nurturing your relationship with your email list by providing lots of value and free content so that when you have a paid service, they’re happy to jump on board with it.

If you have a Facebook group, that’s also a wonderful place to launch your product and find your customers because it’s your most loyal audience. We’ve done a ton of launches within my Facebook group. There’s also your social media channels and paid traffic. So you can do advertising to your warm audience. You can also advertise to people who don’t know about you yet, warm them up, and then turn them into buyers. So those are really the four places that you’re going to find your customers online.

Step number five is cash flow. There’s actually a way to kind of fund your course before you even create it, which I know sounds weird, but a lot of times people will sell a course before the course is even finished. I’ve done this in the past, and it’s not anything that’s against the norm; it actually makes perfect sense because making a course can be a huge undertaking, so you want to actually prove people will buy it. So what this is called is a beta launch. During a beta launch, you usually launch your course at a reduced price just to get people in the door, to get really good testimonials and to get your first round of students going through the program. When you tailor the content and build the content as they’re going through it, it’s really tailor-made for them and you know that they want it and therefore there’s more people out there that would be looking for this kind of content.

A little bonus tip here! I know you’re probably thinking, “Okay, cool, I understand the steps, but how do I actually make the course?” That is the least of your worries. I went through the process of making a course from scratch and using all these different sites and technology and integration. It was a nightmare. So I use one platform and one platform only now, and it’s called Thinkific. ThinkIfIc is the easiest way to make courses online. I am an affiliate for them and I shout them from the rooftops because they are such a wonderful company with the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. So if you’re interested in trying thinkific, you can click HERE to do a free trial run and see what it’s all about, but it’s truly the easiest way to make your first online course.And don’t forget to join the Be Your Own Boss mastermind group on Facebook, where we’re constantly supporting each other and growing our businesses.

Now you know the steps to making your online course, but you need to know if your concept is any good. So make sure you grab our Course Concept Checklist here to prove your course concept is a winner!

– S

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