7 Step Winning Formula to Build a Profitable Online Course

  1. Research Your Niche: With all those free content teaching and informing people for everything, it’s unreasonable for you to dedicate your time to create and distribute another similar content and more brutal to charge for it. Instead, do some benchmarking, inspect the market you’re in, find the solutions others already provided out there, write them down, compare them, find a gap between what you see as a need and what’s being taught, ask few people on social media for your idea to get a comparison of what they “really” need and what you “think” they want. After getting some traction for your solution, it’s your niche to start providing solutions.
  2. Make the Curriculum: Your goal is to empower the people. It could be through either your knowledge or experience. You might have encountered a problem and didn’t find anything about it, dealt with it to figure it out, and ended up with something that could lower others’ pain or increase their satisfaction, like what you gained for yourself. Hence, It’s your chance to spread the word and set yourself as a reference for what people are looking for. If you gain credibility as a problem-solver, you’ll have authority over people’s thinking and decision-making. In this step, you’ll break down the problem, set a corresponding solution for each section, design a system of knowledge transfer, put your content in a cohesive story, and polish up what you did to get your curriculum.
  3. Attract First Students: Some tutors make a common mistake to record a whole course bottoms-up, then try to find a customer for their solution. You’re producing content for “humans,” and without interacting with them, you’ll never know whether you delivered something appropriately or not. Furthermore, by investing too much time and resources in a course you don’t know the audience, you have a higher chance of failure and losing the input. Therefore, for more compelling content and saving resources, try to find your first cohort. You’ll be dedicating everything you got on hand to empower them as much as possible. Don’t save something for later because it might be your last chance to impress them and gain the required traction to continue your teaching career.
  4. Create and Teaching the Content: As you see, the teaching itself isn’t the central part of making a course. Your responsibilities start before you know what to teach and continue after holding the class. In this step, you already have a plan of what you’re going to do and a group of enthusiastic people who trust your expertise and what you’ve promised to teach them. Doing your best to gather the best possible content and deliver them in a balanced theoretical-practical manner is your priority. Set the pace to what your audience can absorb and apply. Do not try to bombard them with some complicated jargon to impress them. This course is not about you; it’s about them. It’s about giving what others couldn’t or wouldn’t.
  5. Improve Iteratively: It’s unrealistic to expect your initial planned content to fit your customers perfectly. It’s along the way that you know them and their needs. A successful course consists of quality content and a wise teaching method. If you set realistic expectations for your customers in the attracting phase and do your best to meet that expectation or over-deliver, you’ll have satisfied customers who want to stay in your class. But without their ongoing feedback, you’ll never get their profound needs. Realizing their sense of what’s happening couldn’t be done by just some sort of survey; you have to follow their subtle hints, analyze their questions, or see how they’re catching up with what you teach. After every session, have a 15 minutes feedback time for yourself and write down what you did, what you think could be improved, and what you want to change for the next session.
  6. Package an Online Course: After finishing your gradually-improved course, you have a sense of your teaching ability, and experience of planning and executing, and a community of your first graduates. If you met their expectations, you have a blueprint for your recorded course; you just need to repeat the previous steps and tweak things to match your expertise better with what people want. Otherwise, you have to reconsider everything you did, break them down, assign failure factors, interview your students, and apply whatever you find to a brand new curriculum. In both cases, you will record a new entire series of classes you previously held, edit them professionally, and upload them to an online teaching platform.
  7. Promote and Scale: If you did your job very well until now, you have some empowered students, which found their desired solution for the problem they had, and now as satisfied customers could act on behalf of you to promote your course as an ambassador. They will tell their story of what you taught them and how others can benefit from what you offer. In addition to that, you need to hold some promotional campaigns and advertise your work everywhere you think is relevant. Put some clips of your course on YouTube, show up as a guest on some genuine podcasts, speak at seminars or anything you believe conveys your message to the prospective customers.

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Mohammad Hossein Tavangar

Mohammad Hossein Tavangar

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