Knowledge is power. And this doesn’t mean just traditional knowledge. If you look on youtube, I’m sure you could find a tutorial on how to travel the world on a $500 budget. Well, maybe. But you get my point.
People are turning to the internet to learn now more than ever. Online courses are becoming more available to not just students, but to everyone! People pay to learn something that is valuable to them. If they know they can benefit from it in the long run, it’s a win for them.
It’s the digital age folks- everything you can do, I can do…online. AND so can you!
So here’s the question: What do you have to offer? To teach? To educate? Ditch the imposter syndrome for a sec. What is something you are really good at?
Write it down.
Yay! This is the first step to creating your first online course. Don’t be intimated! Together we can go through the 9 steps it takes to creating your online course! So buckle up, take notes and get ready to take your first step to showcase your niche.
Step 1: Decision making and planning
Whatever you wrote down is the first step! All you have to do is think of what you want your main topic to be- what is the course going to be about? Here are some questions to guide you in this process!
- What am I the best at?
- What am I the best at explaining?
- What kind of course do you want to create?
- Is it a quick introductory video, or a certification course?
- What is the topic of the course? Keep it simple, yet informative.
- Is your topic within your niche? How can you emphasize this?
- What courses are already out there? What can make yours stand out?
- Will you need any props for this?
Answering these questions allows you to narrow your focus towards one main topic.
Step 2: Create subtopics
Whew- first step is complete. But now ask yourself how this course is going to be presented. Most likely just simply thinking of how you could explain a topic there will be obvious subtopics.
In any order, just write these subtopics down.
Done? Great! Now, can you see a more organized way of presenting these? Are there steps to take before the next subtopic?
Organize your subtopics into chronological order, or an order than ~flows~. Reevaluate your subtopics because online courses should be straight to the point and relevant!
Here is an example of a topic with subtopics! Let’s go with my main topic being about learning how to write a blog. Here are possible subtopics that I might go into:
- Know your audience
- Have a catchy intro
- The writing process as a whole
- 5 things to remember when writing
- Where to post your blog
- How to market your blog
You could quite literally make this list as short or as long as you want, but do what feels right for you. Ask yourself, how little time, or how much time, would I want to listen to this course? What is relevant to my audience? What isn’t?
Step 3: Create your script
I know it’s only step three, but trust me- we are doing the hard work now! So I’m toasting to you for being on step three! Woohoo!
This can be one of the harder steps. I sometimes cringe at thinking of writing a script for me to read. Out loud. On camera.
But this is the time to put your thoughts and plans onto paper! I suggest taking one subtopic at a time. Most online courses are broken up into segments, so writing them in segments can help you stay focused on that subtopic.
Here are 3 things to remember when writing your script:
- You will need to re-write and edit. Don’t worry how the first draft sounds. Remember to embrace the flow! Write down what information you need to get out there. Then, edit it down to keep it simple and to the point. However, don’t feel the need to ever shorten an important segment.
- Add a little YOU in it! Chances are there is another online course teaching about the same thing or something similar. Want to know what can make yours different? YOU! And this isn’t to say that you need to be an award winning author by all means, but it does mean that if you are beyond knowledgeable about this topic, that is your edge. Maybe you are naturally witty- add that to the script. How about humor- are you funny? Add that to the script.
- Whatever you do, make it your own
- Find your personal edge
- Choose the role you want your script to play during the recording process. Are you someone who needs it fully written out? Then do that! However, if you are someone who would rather write down the key points, great- do that! Don’t feel pressured to create your course on any one else’s terms but your own.
Step 4: Record
Lights…. Camera…. Action!!!
More like turn on the kitchen light, press record on your iPhone and start talking, my friend!
Common misconception: You need nice equipment to record an online course.
WRONG! You do not need anything other than some decent lighting and a camera of your choice. However what you do need is a good spot to record.
When recording remember to have a space that doesn’t have extra clutter or anything unnecessary to the course.
Like, if you are recording this in your bedroom, move your slippers out of the shot!
Again, it doesn’t have to be a fancy set-up, just a spot where the focus is on YOU. If you choose to use a prop, such as a whiteboard, make sure that the center of the focus is on that.
The more you get comfortable recording, the more natural it will feel.
Investing in a ring light, or a tripod, are inexpensive ways to make the process easier. But again, these are not necessary to have!
Step 5: Editing time!
I swear I can smell the fear that comes from people when the next step is editing a video. Trust me. It isn’t as hard as it sounds. In fact there are countless video editing programs that are free to download.
I recommend checking out different platforms to edit with and finding one that fits you! And remember, there is probably a free course on how to edit a video 🙂
When you edit, take time to make sure it’s a quality video that captures the most important points! This is a step that you don’t want to rush. Editing can take some time, so don’t be in a hurry.
Once your video is edited, grab some popcorn and watch it! This will give you an idea if your course is complete, or if you need to tweak anything before you launch it.
Step 6: Where is your online course available?
Where is your online course going to be available? Is it on your website? Is it through a link? Do people have to register to get access?
You probably already have a place or idea of where you want to have your online course, but when deciding where to put your course, keep your audience in mind.
*recommendations for this step below!*
Step 7: Market, Market, Market
So your course is finally done- now let’s get some people to watch it!
MARKET THAT COURSE EVERYWHERE!
Read that last line again.
Whether it is on social media, LinkedIn or printing off flyers, market your course to spread the word. Get it out there! Create hype for it. Make people interested and curious about your course.
My biggest recommendation is to market it before you release it. So amp it up on your social media pages, or wherever you want to market it. Create a launch date and build up excitement for it.
If you are charging people to take this course, create an early bird sign-up. Or give out discounts on a day! Whatever you can do to heighten excitement, do it. It’s worth doing all you can to make sure your course is seen.
Step 8: Make it accessible
Whatever you do, make your course accessible. If you have a website, have links to the course on every page! Have a link in your bio on Instagram.
If it takes someone a long time to figure out how to even watch your course, they’re out. They will move on.
The internet is quirky like that- people expect easy, accessible and fast paced EVERYTHING. Think of ways to make your course easy to find, easy to access, and easy to do!
Step 9- FINALLY!
Step 9 isn’t actually a legitimate step in the course creation process, but I think it is a pretty important step.
CELEBRATE! YOU CREATED YOUR FIRST ONLINE COURSE! YES, YOU JUST DID THAT!
See why this step is important to include? Don’t skip over this. This is a huge accomplishment and I bet you did an outstanding job doing it!
In all seriousness, doing something new isn’t always easy, especially when it includes a camera and you talking to it. So cheers to doing something new. To stepping outside of your box. To getting yourself out there. You. Did. It.
My biggest recommendation:
Would you believe if I told you there was a platform where you can create online courses, and have a website for them, AND you can market your course from there, would you believe me?
One of my favorite platforms to use is Kajabi! Have you heard of it? Kajabi is a platform to build a website, send marketing emails, create courses, create online communities, etc . It is an all-in-one place where you can create your course and have it accessed on that same site. They make their creation process easy to use and easy to access.
Of course this isn’t the only platform out there, but I think it’s pretty neat considering all the other ways you can grow your brand with it!
Whatever you choose, do what is right for you! Good luck with it and know that this is just the beginning!