Transformational & Profitable: 4 Key Components for Creating an Online CourseDec 14, 2022
Quick fire round:
- What’s the capital of the United States?
- Who is Ryan Reynolds married to?
- What’s one of the best ways to make money online?
If you said, D.C., Blake Lively, and creating an online course - you’d be our winner!
And as much as I’d love to spout off a bunch of Ryan Reynolds trivia, it’s the Dreampro blog. So of course, we are here to talk all things online courses.
As I’m sure you already know, creating an online course is one of the best ways to generate passive income and grow your business online. But the world is full of online courses that, quite honestly, suck. My mission is to help creators and business owners create online courses that deliver both real-world results for their audiences AND major profit for long-term success.
So, today I want to talk about four key components for creating an online course that help foster deep transformation for your clients and generate game-changing profit for your business.
Creating an Online Course on the RIGHT Platform
The first critical component of your successful online course is the platform. There’s a bunch of different course-hosting-platforms out there, but it’s important to pick the right one for you.
Mostly, you need a hosting platform for your online course that is going to support both your needs as the course creator and business owner AND the needs of your audience to ensure a smooth and headache-free user experience.
Here are some key deciding factors when it comes to choosing an online course platform:
- Excellent systems & reviews for student-user-experience: gotta make sure that whatever platform you pick that your buyers are going to have the BEST experience! Happy buyers = long term sales
- Basic marketing elements: email, multiple payment plans and product bundles options, international currency conversion, Facebook ad pixels… you get the gist.
- Simple course builder: again folks - you want your hosting platform for your online course to be user-friendly for both your audience AND YOU. Make sure that your platform has a simple course builder so you can turn your ideas into a sellable product with ease!
- Peripheral integration: I know it’s a mouthful, but what I mean is pick a hosting platform that allows you to integrate with other tools you use for your business like Flodesk, Mailchimp, Zoom, Youtube, etc.
- Low-cost pricing plan: make sure your chosen platform has a pricing plan. Your course is going to MAKE you money. So even if you can’t pay the whole thing up front, you should be able to pay in installments so that you can start the journey and build recurring revenue.
- Active support system: the last thing you need when shit hits the fan are crickets from your course platform customer support team. Do the research and read the reviews! Make sure that the platform you pick has multiple options for outreach (especially a live chat) and quick response times.
Our personal favorite hosting platform at Dreampro is Kajabi. Kajabi ticks every box on our list and then some! If you’re interested in checking it out, here’s our Kajabi affiliate link!
Having a Clear Course Layout
Let’s think back to our school days…
Did you ever have a lesson with a teacher that was just the best? Everything was clear and concise. The material made sense. The whole lesson was done on time, and you walked away feeling accomplished.
Did you ever have a lesson with that same teacher that was just wack? It felt disjointed, confusing, all over the place. And at the end you had no idea what you were supposed to get out of it.
News flash: it has nothing to do with the teacher. That teacher probably knows their shit - but if the information isn’t conveyed in a thoughtful, comprehensible way, it’s not going to land with the class. (also - shout out to that teacher. we’ve all had bad days).
Having a clear course layout when creating an online course is critical for understanding and retention, which all leads back to sales.
When you are beginning to construct your course, make sure to define the course’s primary focus and outline all of the topics you’ll be covering. Really zone in on your ideal client: where are they at in their [insert your niche here] journey? Are they a beginner? Intermediate? A pro? A good rule of thumb is to always make your course comprehensible for someone with little to no prior knowledge of your subject. That way you can make everything crystal clear from the very beginning and not having to assume that they already know stuff.
Personally, I really like the hourglass method when it comes to structuring a course: basically, you start with your broader focus, giving your audience the run down of everything they are about to learn. This also gives you an opportunity to fill in any necessary supplemental knowledge. Then you get into the nitty gritty details and all the juicy content. They you bring it home by zooming back out on the main focus and goal.
You should also include a rundown of all your included resources and equipment needed for your course!
Fostering Lots of Class Engagement
If you want your audience to learn what skill or information you are teaching them, YOU NEED TO KEEP THEM ENGAGED! Nobody is retaining information is they are zoned the eff out. There are so many ways to keep your audience engaged - even if you’re not interacting with them in live time.
Some ideas for engagement are polls, quizzes, tests or other assessments, conversation posts, and pier-comment reviews. Play around with when you incorporate these elements: they don’t always need to go at the end of your module. Try putting them in the middle of lessons, breaking up the monteny. The more you can switch up the pattern, the more your audience will pay attention and retain!
And DEFINITELY keep things visually engaging! When creating an online course, you have a lot of opportunity visual aids. Think screenshoots, timelines, charts/graphs, videos, stock photos, gifs, comics, infographics, animations, etc. Forget a matrix-load of text, and focus on core text and lots of fun, relevant visuals!
Creating Opportunities for Community-Building & Group Interaction
It is SO much easier to accomplish something if you are surrounded by a supportive and like-minded community. I know that the lone-wolf thing seems all cool, tough, and inspirational (thanks patriarchal Hollywood), but it’s definitely the hard way of doing things.
Having supportive people around you with similar goals and aspirations makes you SO much more likely to succeed! So when creating an online course, foster opportunities for community and group interaction. It will really set your online course apart!
Zoom meetings are an awesome way to connect multiple people at once. It creates that classroom environment and helps people realize that they are not alone in their journey. Other ways of encouraging group interaction are internet communities - like Facebook groups or even creating a Slack channel. These are great ways to connect large audiences with one another and interact at their own pace without time restraints.
Creating an Online Course That Works & Sells
Pretty straightforward, yeah? Obviously there’s a lot that goes into creating an online course, but at Dreampro, we’ve proven time and again that having an easy-to-use, clear, engaging, and interactive product always makes our client’s rise to the top.
You may have noticed that every key component we talked about is very focused on the student/consumer. This is that transformational element that we are looking for. We want to create online courses that deliver real-world results and make your audience feel AMAZING about what they’ve accomplished! And it’s this focus on quality that creates incredible, sustainable profit.
Those customers become customers of another offer of yours, and another, and another. They give you referrals cause they can’t stop talking about you. The promote you on their socials because they believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn from you. They write kick-ass, high-converting testimonials and reviews - and all of this adds up to gain you credibility and trust within your industry.
Of course, you wanna have your marketing on lock and all of your systems in place, but we know from having created over 300 courses that these four components are tried and true when it comes to successful, profitable online courses.
And of course, if you’re looking for super-in-depth support and a HUGE library of online course creation resources, check out the Dreampro Digital Educator Academy and become a pro online course creator today!
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