From the perfect provider to the optimal pricing – there are some aspects that should be considered when creating an online course. These are the seven best tips for getting started.
Probably the biggest revolution in our education system: online courses. Whether for schoolchildren or adults, there is now a huge range of offers covering a wide variety of topics. Many marketers also rely on an online course to build up a profitable additional income. But not every topic is suitable and there are a few things to consider. Would you like to create your own online course? Then these seven tips will help you get started.
Tip 1: Create a business plan for the online course
Even though there are relevant videos and articles available to help you create and succeed overnight, a business plan is essential. First of all you should be clear about what the goal of your own online course should be and what benefits your target group will get from it. A detailed analysis of potential customers is essential.
You also need to define how you want to reach your customer base. This doesn’t happen automatically and many marketers have found that a course doesn’t sell itself through good content alone. For this reason you need a marketing strategy. Finally, your business plan should also include an economic calculation. Because you will need budget to produce the courses and take care of the first marketing. Realistically it will take a while until the first revenues will cover all running costs.
Tip 2: First gather offline experience
It’s not about selling your know-how. An online course ideally solves the problems of your target group. To find out, it is advisable to test the most important processes offline. How can I win customers and convince them of my offer? Maybe you are already working in 1:1 coaching or you advise your customers regularly via Zoom or Skype.
Then you will notice what goes down well and what does not. This way you can take valuable experience with you, which will be useful for the online course creation. The better you know your target group and learn how to convey your content in the best possible way, the lower your cancellation rate will be.
Tip 3: Expand your network and position yourself as an expert
If nobody knows you, marketing the course will be difficult. It is very important to build up a good network in the corresponding branch and to collect contacts. If you position yourself as an expert in your field, you are more likely to inspire confidence in your target group. The trust factor plays a major role in the purchase decision.
If your name sounds familiar and you stand out with good references, customers are more likely to decide to buy your online course. Of course, it is also possible that you don’t want to be in the foreground, but rather remain the string-puller in the background. Then it is important to choose the right experts for your target industry and to keep them present in the marketing of the course. Make sure that your experts have a good network and can communicate content well. This makes the start much easier.
Tip 4: Using different types of learners
There is one thought you should always have in mind when you want to create an online course: The content must not only appeal to you, but should serve different types of learners. It’s of little use if you rely on 10 hours of video material, but your target group prefers to work with short webinars and exercises.
That’s exactly why you should take a close look at the needs of your target group in advance. A good online course definitely lives from high-quality content. You can use different formats to convey your knowledge in an attractive way. But be aware of the costs, because depending on the type of format the production can be very expensive.
Inspiration for different formats:
Videos for example explanatory videos about Powtoon or mysimpleshow
Tests for knowledge retrieval
Reading recommendations for suitable books, blog posts and more
Information sheets as PDF for download
Exercises to deepen the knowledge
Webinars for example about Zoom
If possible, a personal telephone call can also be offered as an additional extra. It is important that the personal touch is not lost with all content. It makes little sense to copy from competitors.
Tip 5: Find the perfect online course provider
Probably one of the most important questions when creating an online course: Which provider do I want to use? There is now a wide range of international providers. With the help of the following key questions it is easier to differentiate:
Do I value American customer service?
What about the legal security of the individual providers?
Is the provider free of charge? What is the percentage share I have to give per sale?
What range of functions do I get?
Possibilities of individual customization, for example your own design in the sales form
Do I want to do affiliate marketing?
Is a connected marketplace available?
Where should the course content be integrated? At the provider himself or on his own website?
Once these questions have been clarified, the individual providers can be easily differentiated. Udemy enjoys a good reputation as a platform. Courses are advertised extensively and it is easier to attract new participants. However, you should note that regular discount campaigns are part of Udemy’s marketing concept. This form of third-party marketing could, under certain circumstances, have a negative impact on personal net profit. If you want to advertise the courses yourself, providers such as Elopage are recommended.
The individual functions are easy to understand. In addition, the elopage builder offers a simple adjustment of the individual course pages, the member area and the sales pages. Knowledge of HTML is not necessary. Another popular provider is Digistore24. Here the user gets the service of sales and payment processing. The own sales page including member area and course pages can be built for example with WordPress.
Digimember is the best WordPress plugin for this, to simplify the administration enormously. Other providers are Moodle, Lecturio, Teachable or Articulate. However, if you want to market your own webinars, it is best to use platforms like Zoom.
Tip 6: Test different prices
In the beginning it can be difficult to calculate the perfect price. With the help of split tests different prices can be tested and compared. The question is also whether the online course should be purchased at the subscription price or once only. The average price for a common video course with up to five hours of material will certainly help as a guide. This lies at 29.90 euros.
Tip 7: Enlarge your customer base not only with a platform
Another important aspect is lead generation. If you want to increase your own customer base, you should definitely not rely on just one platform. Which channels come into question depends on the target group. In any case, you should think about this in advance. The first customers can also be acquired through recommendations, but soon this process should be automated as much as possible to generate regular sales.