You are a pro. You know your stuff. You are an expert in your field and you’re ready to share what you’ve learned. All of that incredible experience is bubbling up and looking for an audience - now it’s time to create your online course like the pro that you are!
Why An Online Course?
Teaching is the ultimate marketing tool. Demonstrating your expertise in an online platform is one of the most effective ways to message your market. It gives insight into who you are, what you do, and why you are the best. It’s the entrepreneur’s business card for this decade.
It’s also a dynamic way to create impactful change in your industry.
Choose Your Topic Wisely
When you create your online course, choose your topic wisely. Start with an old-fashioned brainstorming session. Then pick the subject that you truly speaks to you. It should be one you enjoy, have experience with, and can discuss knowledgeably.
Remember, this is a passion project. Your love for your topic will shine through in your instruction… or not. Find your niche and get started!
Once you’ve narrowed your topic, make sure that it has value to your market. It should be timely and relevant. Above all, there should be a demand for your information. Ask yourself
What’s the industry buzz around the idea?
Who is talking about it?
What is the competition doing with the concept?
Is there a gap that you can fill?
If you still aren’t sure that you’re on the right track, do a smoke test. Create a survey or poll for your audience and review the responses. Your goal is to bring value to your market, not replicate what already exists. Do your homework and give your topic a fresh angle.
Now it’s time for the fun part - creating your course content. Start with an outline to organize your thoughts, then fill in the details with all that great experience you’ve been stockpiling. Be sure to reference your smoke test results to stay on track.
When it all shakes out, you’ll end up with approximately 5-7 solid action steps that convey your message. These are the modules, or lessons, that will create a clear learning path for your audience.
Keep your modules simple and concise. While you have lots of amazing information to share, you don’t want to overwhelm your learners. Shorter snippets and bite-sized morsels work best.
Deliver Your Content with Style
Online learning must be engaging to be effective. If you plan a 40-minute lecture on your topic, you’re going to lose someone. Probably lots of someones. Everyone has different learning styles, and very few of them thrive on long lectures. Consider the most appealing ways to deliver your content.
Video is the most popular format for instruction since it’s fairly simple to create and distribute. If you plan to use video, remember to include great visuals or audio. When it makes sense, incorporate other content like TED Talks or link to an awesome podcast.
Keep your communication light and add a dash of humor when possible. Limit the time you spend talking (see above) and establish a forum for discussion or review.
Before you pop up your amazingly witty, engaging, peppered-with-interesting-tidbits video, do a final edit. There are fantastic free editing programs that will help you polish your final product. Try Openshot or Blender for a simple user experience and a masterfully crafted result.
Ready for Launch
Now that you have a solid grasp of the fundamentals, you’re ready for launch! Most importantly, you’re reaffirming your status as a leader and expert while helping to affect change in your industry. That’s how a pro rolls!