FFS, just do it already!!
No seriously, it’s time! The market for online courses has gone full-on Formula 1, world land speed record-breaking, bat-sh*t crazy!
If like any good Procrastinator you are still sitting and mulling over the idea of creating or even launching your online course. Then its time to make some less than perfect decisions before the window of opportunity closes and your left procrastinating as to why you missed out.
The pandemic and rise in home working, Zoom calling and on-demand entertainment has fulled the explosive demand for online learning.
So if you are still sitting on your proverbial backside wondering if, when and how you should launch your course — here is our Procrastinators guide to get your butt moving.
Step 1 — Make a decision about your topic by selecting a micro-niche!
The most important step in guaranteeing your course’s success is to find a profitable micro-niche.
As a sidebar, you’ll hear the word niche (pronounced either “neesh” or “nitch”) quite a lot online. It means a market segment.
This is an area that a) you already know a lot about and b) other people are interested in.
When you have picked that, then focus all your intellectual might on honing it down even further, from niche to micro-niche.
If you decided (all be it every so fleetingly) on Mindfulness for example as your course niche, because this a topic you know a lot about then reduce the breadth of that Mindfulness idea to a more nuanced version, for example, Mindfulness for overcoming anxiety.
Then ideally reduce that micr-niche topic even further to Mindfulness for overcoming anxiety about dog grooming. or Mindfullnes for overcoming anxiety about face masks.
The point is, that in a busy market space you need to stand out, and that is done by being specific to a specific audience. Of course, you don’t want to be so specific that there is no demand for your online course.
A profitable micro-niche probably has some courses out there already, as well as books and other materials. A quick check on sites like amazon.com will tell you if there’s stuff out there now that’s catering to this market segment. If there’s a forum site or two on the subject as well, then so much the better.
Before you change your mind and decide that you could probably pick an alternative to this micro-niche, DON’T, just move to the next step, remember a half baked cake still feeds a starving mouse.
Step 2 Pick an in-demand topic so you don’t worry about getting it right.
You also need to pick an in-demand topic related to that micro-niche.
This is a specific skill or knowledge that people in the niche are prepared to pay you to learn about. Learning how to choose in-demand topics will enable you to create course after course after course, so you can go back to those 20 other ideas you’ve had in the FUTURE without delay now.
If people want to find out about something, their first port of call nowadays is usually to do a search online, so checkout Google trends https://trends.google.com/ or and enter a potential topic into the search box.
That will tell you what the interest in that subject is over time, where this subject is popular, and related topics and queries.
If you’ve chosen a popular niche, there will probably be discussion groups and forum sites dedicated to that topic.
Just do a search to see what’s available. Also checkout Google Groups https://groups.google.com/forum/#!overview and see what people are talking about. Not only will you find questions being posted there, but answers, too.
The same goes for social media — particularly Facebook and Instagram. Join a group and just “lurk” for a while to see what’s going on.
If you’re in a line of business and have had to figure out a solution to a problem, or learn something the hard way, chances are other people in that niche will have the same problem too, even if they don’t like to talk about it. If you’ve encountered something new (compliance with a new government regulation, for example) then you can be certain other people WILL have the same problem sooner or later and can create a course that puts you ahead of the curve.
So make that in-demand topic in your micro-niche the problem that your course will solve.
Let the evidence guide you because now is the time to break the endless deadlock of procrastination, because in just one day you can create and launch your first micro-niche-mini-course.
Step 3 — That day is right now!
The most popular course type in 2020 is the mini-course.
This is a short course that can either be an introduction to a topic, or can cover a particular aspect of a topic in detail. It’s concise but also leaves the door open for further study — meaning you can create more courses if there’s enough demand.
Mini-courses can be video, audio, text or a combination of all three. They often have no more than an hour of video and contain up to 50 slides and an accompanying ebook or text document.
Ok, let's get things moving, first by creating the procrastination-beating sampler course!
Capture all your thinking, research and expertise into a series of slides, 10–20 is fine for now.
Then sitting in front of your computer and use ZOOM, Powerpoint or Keynote to record yourself talking over your micro-niche mini-course slides.
Do this for an hour and boom you have a mini-course!
Upload it for FREE to YouTube or Social Media send your friends a link and get feedback.
Treat this as a movie trailer or pilot show for your main event.
At least now you have started the process and broken the inertia.
Once you have received the feedback you can take down the video and create a more professional, refined and ultimately chargeable course.
Step 4 — Host, Market, Retire (Ok you won't retire, yet, but you can retire from all the procrastination!)
With your new professional micro-niche-mini-course to hand, you can pick a platform to upload to.
Udemy may be the best place if you are planning to launch many courses and you don't really have any following in social media. This is a great platform with a ready-made market of people wanting courses. The downside is you are selling your soul and by soul, I mean the profitability and control of the marketing and pricing of your course.
Our fave hosting platform is http://www.teachable.com! there is a monthly fee, but you can use the FREE version until you get 10 students signed up.
Once your course is online you then have to get to work marketing your course. Emails, social media, paid ads, chatshow appearances, podcasts, flying blimps with your course name on it etc.
Anything basically to get the course noticed.
Once the students start to enrol you can then gather feedback and look at ways to enhance or improve your course.
Now all you will have to procrastinate about is what to spend your royalties on!
If you are still in need of more assistance in launching your course then check out this complete resource kit: https://reachable.agency/cartflows_step/launch-your-online-course/
If you are still unsure about moving forward and want to go back to a lifetime of “what if’s” then please slap yourself on the cheek and reread this article again from the top until that course is launched or 2020 has ended.