It’s no secret that the market for online courses is big – and it’s getting bigger.
According to Forbes, the market hit $57 billion in 2014 – and it has kept growing ever since. Report Linker estimates that the online course industry is approaching $200 billion in 2016.
And that’s why in this blog post I share the 7 things you need to know…
…including how to create and sell your first online course… even if you don’t have an idea for one yet.
#1: If someone already created the course you want to create, that’s GOOD NEWS!
I know that’s counter intuitive, but bear with me…
When you come up with an online course idea that has NEVER been done before, that means one thing: there’s probably no one interested in buying it.
You might think, “But people need what I’m selling,” and maybe they do. But the internet is so large that if people need it, and are willing to buy it, there WILL be someone else selling it.
As a matter of fact: if you come up with an idea for an online course, and you can’t find someone selling a course similar to what you want to offer, I’d find a new course.
Of course there are specific strategies for figuring out what to create an online course about…
…and I’ll share more of those with you soon.
For now, I want you to know this: if there’s competition, that’s a GOOD thing.
#2: Your first online course won’t look that great, and that’s OKAY. Here’s why…
When you want to create – and sell – online courses, you may look at other people who do it (like me) and think: “Wow, their design is great, and so are their videos. I could never do that!”
But here’s the problem:
You’re comparing yourself now to where we are now. And that’s a mistake. You need to compare where you are now to where we were in the beginning.
As an example, take a look at this. These are 3 screenshots from my first ever online course. The videos were low quality. They were grainy. And I apparently couldn’t even afford a haircut.
But those 3 videos went on to generate six figures in revenue. Why? Because, while the videos were low quality, the content INSIDE the video was great.
(The same applies to your web design. Yes, the web design I use now cost $25,100, but the one I started with? It was a simple, plain white theme that worked. And it worked for the first 4 years of my business).
Now you might think, “Well, you’re different!”
But I promise you I’m not.
I recently interviewed one of my customers from Zippy Courses (my software that makes creating and selling online courses a cinch), and he said, “It all starts with a whiteboard on a chair.”
He’s an accountant, and he teaches business owners how to understand their numbers. In his video he did just that. Even though it was just a silly white board resting on a chair, the content was valuable, and it helped kick off his online course business.
#3: If you’re struggling to find an idea for your online course, this will help.
Why do people buy online courses? The short answer is because they’ve got a problem – and they want to solve it.
Maybe they’re looking to learn how to use a complicated piece of software. Maybe they don’t fit into their favorite jeans and want to lose weight. Maybe they’re stressed out and overwhelmed and want to take control of their calendar.
Whatever the case: people buy online courses because they have a problem in their life and they want to solve it.
So, how can you find an idea for YOUR online course?
Find a problem. And eliminate it with an online course.
I know this might sound like I’m over simplifying it, but it is that easy. Think about the problems your friends, colleagues, and family members come to you with… LISTEN TO THEM.
And then see if you can create a repeatable course that helps people solve problems JUST LIKE THAT.
#4: Why you should NEVER worry about “not being expert enough”
Joseph Michael Nicoletti helps novelists write their novel with Scrivener. And he makes about $20,000 to $30,000 a month doing it.
Let me rephrase that. He makes almost $1,000 a day by showing novelists how to use an app for writing.
I know. Ridiculous.
When he decided to create an online course about Scrivener, he said, “I was just using it casually. I definitely wasn’t an expert. I never written a book or anything.”
And he went on…
“I purchased every book on Scrivener and studied everything I could find on it. I’d study a particular feature, and then record a tutorial on it. Short 3-5 minute chunks mainly so it was easier for me to create, but it turned out to be one of the most popular features.”
Or, long story short, he created his course by learning one feature, filming a video about it, and then learning another feature, and filming another video about it.
He learned as he created, and he went on to become a HUGE success.
But here’s why I love this story:
If you want to create an online course about something… ANYTHING… and you feel like “I don’t know anything that I could teach…”
I have 5 letters for you:
And as you LEARN, document the process, and you too can create a course about almost anything.
Just be honest with people and share why you’re doing what you’re doing.
#5: People like buying courses – even when they can find the same information for free
While people “could” find what you plan on selling elsewhere..
…they still have to find it.
They also must figure out what information is legit… and what information is junk.
And figuring out the difference can be a full time job for even the most savvy people.
Or they can find someone who created a course, who charges a fair price, and buy that.
It’s what I do. And it’s what other people do too. That’s why the online course industry is exploding right now.
Time is one of the most valuable things we can never get back. Why waste time “figuring out” what’s good or not when you can buy a course.
#6: Why you should create a SMALL online course
When people create online courses, they think they need to create some big, in-depth online course that covers EVERYTHING they know…
…but that’s a mistake.
Don’t do that. It’s a waste of time. Especially if you’re JUST getting started.
My first online course was 3 little videos and a worksheet. And as I showed you earlier, they were ugly videos.
And it helped kick off my entire business.
Just 3 little videos and some worksheets.
Better yet, don’t even create a course that you sell right off the bat. Create an even smaller “mini course” as a way to start building your email list. That’s what Guillermo did – and it helped him get his first 1,700 subscribers.
#7: If you want to learn everything you need to know about online courses, JUST GET THIS
If you want to learn everything you need to know about creating – and selling – online courses…
I suggest you browse the website to learn more.
We have a lot of resources on creating and selling online courses.