This is a guest post from Reba Collins over at Online To Thrive.
Creating online courses is all the rage these days. Everyone is creating them.
And why not? Technology like Teachable and Kajabi make it super simple. Or, if you know how to install a plug-in on your WordPress site, there are a number of Learning Management Systems (LMS), like LearnDash you can use.
I started Online To Thrive by creating self-study courses. I came up with an idea, purchased a mic, already had Camtasia (which allows you to make screencasts and do editing), and then went to town creating.
It wasn’t hard, I used PowerPoint to create a slide deck, wrote speaker notes, and recorded as I talked into my mic while running the PowerPoint slides. Easy-peasy.
Today, after creating multiple courses using this system, I’m in the process of retiring them all. All my courses will soon be gone from my site.
Why would I do that after putting in so much time and effort?
Honestly, I feel they aren’t good enough. I have evolved over the last year and feel I can now do much better.
What I’ve Learned About Creating Courses
In order to create a course people are interested in taking, it must be one that teaches something they want to know, not what you think they need. As an example, I made a course on how to create a business avatar. It’s something people need to do in order to market their products successfully.
Problem? It’s what they need, not what they want.
A better plan would have been to include the same information in another course, not make it the main focus.
I also learned that people always move away from pain before they will move toward pleasure or comfort. So, solving a problem that’s causing pain will always be a course people seek before one that makes life easier. Identifying the problem you’ll solve before starting work on the course is always a good plan of action.
Taking that back to the avatar course I created, I marketed it as a course that would make marketing easy. Well, if my prospects weren’t really having a problem with their marketing or didn’t know they had one because I didn’t point it out, there was no need for them to take the course now, they could always do that later. Had I marketed it to solve a problem, I may have enrolled more students.
The last thing I learned was that any course I create needs to have something in it that is unique. A concept or method that they can only learn from me. Without this uniqueness, it’s impossible to stand out and get noticed.
How To Build Your Plan For A Course
When someone signs up to take a course, they want to learn how to get to the next level from where they currently are. They are in Place A where they are not very happy, and they want to go to Place B where they can be happy. They feel like the course will take them there.Basically, people take a course to receive a promise of transformation (from unhappy to happy) and the transformation journey should move them from Place A to Place B. But all too often we build the course to move them from Place A to Place Z.
When you try to teach too much in one course, you’ll find the student moving into a state of overwhelm, and when that happens, they end up learning nothing. Often, they won’t complete the course, or they end up asking for a refund. Worse yet, they walk away thinking they aren’t smart enough to learn the subject matter and maybe even give-up.
When moving the student from Position A to Position B, you should identify no more than 3 to 7 (less is better) core concepts that will move the student to their transformation and fulfill the promise of the course. Each of the core concepts should have an objective so the student knows, once the objective is met, they are ready to move to the next core concept.Each core concept should have 3 to 5 things for the student to learn to satisfy the objective of the concept. By the end of the module the student has learned something important and moved closer to their transformation.
One of the core concepts (could be a method) must be something unique that distinguishes your course from others in the market. It is what will help you stand out and give your students the transformation they seek.
All the courses I created were absent of a unique and distinct concept. The information I was teaching could be learned from anyone, and believe me, there are a lot of people teaching the stuff I was trying to teach.
In addition to this basic system, including diagrams, worksheet, checklists and things to help the student with the information you’re providing will also help your course stand out from the crowd.
I plan to start creating courses again. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about course creation since I started last June and I’m going to take the information and do better this time. I know the information like the back of my hand, but so do a lot of other people, this time I will stand out by developing a unique concept or method for utilizing the information.
If you want to create online courses, be sure you have something that is unique about your course and be sure it solves a problem that your audience is currently experiencing and you be miles ahead of your competition.
Reba Collins is the owner of OnlineToThrive.com. Having studied internet marketing and sales for the last 20 years, she loves teaching what she knows. So if you want to learn how to start your own online business, sign-up and get the email templates I use in my business – FREE!
Reba also just started PLRGenius.com. She loves, loves, loves using private label rights content (PLR) and started this website as a project of passion. If you want to learn more about PLR and how to use it, follow Reba and check out her short guide “Use PLR Like A Boss”.