The internet has provided many benefits over the years, and one of them is the ability for anyone, anywhere, to learn a new skill. As traditional education methods continue to lose relevance in this technology-driven world, it’s evident that online courses offer a vast opportunity for many business owners and entrepreneurs. Creating an online course can offer a targeted solution to customers desperate for content to solve their problems or answer their questions while providing them open badges to show that they are reaching a goal. With the right course and approach, you have the opportunity to position yourself as an industry leader, generate passive income for your business and deliver more value to your customers than ever before. Here are 10 steps for successful online course launch!
10 Steps for Reaching the Success in Online Course
Choose your course topic. Ready for a truth bomb? It doesn’t matter how good your online course is; if your audience isn’t interested in your topic or is unwilling to pay for it, you won’t see much success. Align your course topic with your customer’s needs. Start by thinking about how you can solve a problem for your customer or provide additional value like open badges. It will encourage your audience with the goal to join your courses. Your social media, blog, and website analytics can help you determine what topics resonate with your audience.
Perform market research. You want to be sure there’s enough demand for what you’re giving before investing time, energy, and money into establishing an online course. Without a healthy market, even the best online course in the world would fail. Make a course that caters to the needs of your target audience. To evaluate interest and welcome questions, send a survey to your mailing list or post a series of polls on social media. These questions will help you discover any possible stumbling blocks or roadblocks, as well as guide the content and organization of your course.
Ensure those clear learning outcomes are established. Do you want to discover what makes a successful online course? How many people have signed up? What about the 5-star reviews? Nope! It’s the value your audience receives after your online course. Learning outcomes provide you with a clear picture of what your audience should be able to do at the end of each step of your online course. Your consumer will not be encouraged to sign up if they cannot understand how your course material is relevant to them or have a vision for what they can accomplish with it. Remove this obstacle by identifying what’s in it for them and ensuring that the learning objectives are outcome-driven and value-focused.
Decide on the content of your course. People demand more from the information they consume online now that they have access to such a varied spectrum of technologies. Gone are the days of one-note presentations and boring slideshows. Customers prefer a more engaged and involved experience. Consider including interactive components such as quizzes, video lectures, worksheets, and open badges to spice up the course and keep your customers engaged. It’s also crucial to remember that we all learn in different ways; some people like video, while others prefer audio, and yet others prefer reading. Your online course should appeal to a wider audience and include a variety of material types.
Create a plan and course structure. When designing your online course, you want to ensure that it is structured logically and purposefully to support your customer’s understanding and learning outcomes. Provide them with open badges and digital certificates to keep them motivated. When people feel empowered as opposed to confused, completion rates increase. To provide a friction-free and rewarding experience for your customer, put yourself in their shoes. Map out their journey with your online course. Are you covering all the learning objectives? Is any of the information vague or unclear? Is there a natural flow between modules or sections?
Decide on a delivery method. Online courses in PDF format, video courses, or live or recorded webinars are all options. When it comes to online course distribution systems, the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, this might make it more difficult to sort through the options and choose what is right for you and your course. If you’re running an online course for the first time, I recommend starting small. Choose a delivery option that you are comfortable with and that will provide the optimum user experience for your customers. If your consumer has gone through a lengthy sign-up procedure to access your course, this might detract from their experience and, in some situations, even prevent them from enrolling. Action, action, action! It’s time to start working on your online course and converting your expertise into digital material. Doesn’t it appear to be rather simple? Certainly not. For the technically impaired or apprehensive among us, creating an online course may be an overwhelming and intimidating task. Find an online tool that includes filming, recording, and editing capabilities, or consider outsourcing to a freelancer or business with expertise in creating online courses to alleviate stress and speed the process.
Arrange for the technology to be set up. You need to determine where to host your newly created online course now that it’s ready. Will you utilize a platform like Udemy to purchase online courses? Alternatively, perhaps you’d want to keep everything under one roof and self-host through your website? Whatever option you select, I recommend signing up for a free trial to try out all the features and setting up a conversation with the support team if you have any questions. Make a list of your non-negotiables and make sure you understand the costs before deciding on a course of action.
Define your pricing strategy. This is the step that everyone dreads. It’s a minefield when it comes to pricing your online course. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Conducting research is the first step in pricing online material. Analyze and compare your course to comparable or rival courses in the marketplace. Look at what they’re offering and how much they’re asking. Consider how you can add value to your course. Consider the USP of your online course and how much that USP is worth to your buyer. People are prepared to pay for value, so fight the temptation to undersell themselves.
Market & sell your course. Once you’ve created an online course, you can’t just plop it on your website and hope for the best. You need to have a strategy in place to promote and sell it. The aim is to create hype and excitement and get your customers thinking, “I NEED this course!”. You can do this with blogs, valid open badges, a dedicated sales page on your website, an email campaign, free webinars to give people a taste of what they will learn on the course, and of course social media. Email campaigns are going to be your number one source of students, so it is important to plan for this and start building your email list well in advance of your launch.