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So you’re wanting to start and launch your own online course?
In this post, I will be going over the 5 lessons I learned when creating my course. I learned these things so that you don’t have to.
Tip #1: Set Realistic Expectations
If you’re playing around with the idea of creating a course to sell to people, you need to go into it with realistic expectations when it comes to the workload.
Let me tell you, I did not set realistic expectations for myself.
Going into this adventure, I thought the hardest part was going to be the course creation itself: figuring out how to teach everything in my head in a cohesive way, from A to Z.
I knew I had to braindump all of my ideas on sticky notes, organize those notes into lessons and modules, script each lesson, turn those into slideshows that match my branding, record, edit, export, upload… you get the idea…
I knew that was going to be a lot of the work, but what I didn’t realize was that wasn’t even the half of it.
The course creation alone took me about 6 months to complete. Then came more craziness.
What I Didn’t Expect When Launching My First Course
Here’s a brief list of what I didn’t anticipate or predict I would get myself into:
- Creating a 3-4 week launch plan for my audience through…
- Utilizing email funnels and Instagram
- Making worksheets and downloadables for the course students
- Creating a sales page and checkout process (that actually takes payments and auto-enrolls people into your course)
- Creating a lead magnet (I chose for mine to be a webinar, which lead to more tasks)
- Scripting my webinar
- Creating a slideshow for the webinar
- Finding a hosting platform for the webinar
- Organizing deals, discounts, and bonuses for the different times of my launch
- Hire a copywriter for sales pages, emails, checkout, etc., and work with them closely so they could successfully implement my brand and my voice on these pages
- And much, much more
It’s a Lot of Work, but It’s Worth It
After all of this, I have so much more respect for course creators now than ever before.
Creating and launching a course to “make a lot of money” is not easy! It’s a lot of upfront work so that you can eventually make passive income.
And that’s only if you’re willing to put the work into it. If you are willing to put in that upfront work, I can tell you from experience that it will be worth it.
So the question is: will you be resilient?
Tip #2: Validate Your Topic
If you’re thinking about creating a course, don’t just dive in and start creating.
Your next step is to actually make sure the topic you want to teach is needed and wanted by people (or your current audience if you have one).
This is a step you do not want to skip or rush.
When I say “validate your topic,” I don’t mean simply posting one poll on Instagram Stories and seeing how your audience votes.
It can take time to validate and dissect your topic with your target audience.
How to Validate Your Topic
For me, I actually taught my course topic to students one-on-one before turning it into a course.
By doing that, I was able to test my strategies on real people, hear their struggles in real-time, and create a very specific course that catered to their needs.
Not, this is just an example, and I understand not everyone reading has access to the same strategy I used.
But the point is, I put myself out there and had real interactions with real people with real problems and I was able to provide a real solution.
From there, I could decide what common issues were, what common complaints were about growing on Instagram, and identify what I knew my audience needed and wanted.
Tip #3: Generosity Goes a Long Way
I touched on generosity in my video here on controversial tips for Influencers on Instagram, and I probably won’t ever stop talking about it.
I believe that one of the reasons my very first course launch was successful was because of this simple value: generosity.
If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I have a “No BS” approach and I will teach it ALL. No secrets!
I’m not scared to teach everything on YouTube, my blog, or my Instagram for free because it creates trust with my audience.
When starting a business, you want there to be trust. When someone feels like they know you and they like you and trust you, then and only then, will they buy from you.
You can’t just be giving general tips like, “To grow on Instagram, pick a niche, post consistently, and engage. Buy my course for $1000 ❤️.”
Just no… Nobody will buy anything from you if you’re giving general advice they can find anywhere.
When someone can take something good and juice from you for free, they’ll walk away thinking, “I want more of what they’re serving!”
Generosity is so hard to find in this industry nowadays (or any industry for that matter). So be one of the few people who have generosity at the forefront of your business.
For more ideas on creating a culture and model and generosity, check out this post on generosity by Donald Miller, author of Building a Story Brand.
Tip #4: Creating Bonuses
When I was creating and outlining my course, I was like, “Holy crap. I have way too much here that I’m teaching!”
And I don’t mean that I don’t want to teach you guys so much. I just mean that when I looked at everything, I got confused… And if I’m confused by it, then you or anyone else looking at it will probably get confused too.
I was worried that I was doing too much. What I ended up doing was I stripped it down even more.
At the end of the day, my course’s goal was to teach inspiring Influencers how to:
- Create their own brand
- Feel confident in themselves
- Learn these step-by-step strategies to grow and increase engagement on Instagram
- And utilize their platform to land paid brand collaborations
Anything else that I wanted to teach that didn’t help them reach those goals, I turned into bonuses for launch week or as downloadables in the course.
Example of Creating Bonuses For Your Online Course
For example, one of the bonuses I created was “10 Ways to Make Money on Instagram.”
Is that something someone needs to learn how to grow on Instagram? No.
Did I still it would be valuable for my students? Absolutely.
So, I made it a freebie for anyone who decided to attend my webinar.
I found this to be such a great way to give more goodness to my students and continue with that generous-forward business model.
Tip #5: Create FOMO
You want your audience to feel like they’re going to miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime. Because, quite frankly, they would miss out.
I set an open and close date for my course so that if someone wanted to join, they had to within that seven-day window. On top of that, I let my audience know that this first launch will be the best deal my course will ever be because after that, the next time I launch my course, the price will go up.
Now, not only are they on a limited timeframe, but they know this is their only chance to get access to my course at a huge discount.
Excitement and FOMO work so well for any sort of launch.
Speaking of my Instagram course, if you haven’t yet checked it out, go ahead and take a look at it! If you’re an inspiring Influencer, this is the course for you. If you’re not sure, but still want some valuable tips, check out my freebies!
So, I’m curious. What topic have you been wanting to create an online course for?
I don’t care if it’s a topic you think is oversaturated. I made a course about Instagram for crying out loud.
The world deserves to hear your voice no matter what that topic is. So let me know in the comments below what course topics you’d want to teach!
Follow your joy!