In our increasingly digital world, creating an online course is a terrific way to share your knowledge with others.
(And with the number of online course creators earning 7 figures increasing by 48% in 2021, course creation is also an amazing way to scale your business revenue.)
The course creation process consists of many pieces, and it can be difficult to keep track of all of them.
Here at DB Course Strategies, we carefully craft high-calibre courses that illuminate your expertise and have prepared a checklist for course creation that you can use as a roadmap to success.
Online Course Creation Checklist for Entrepreneurs
#1. Validate Your Offer
Before you invest your time and resources into creating an online course, it’s important to make sure that there’s a market need for it. No market need = no students, so don’t skip this step!
The very first step to validating your offer is building your ideal student profile.
Who are you creating your online course for? What kind of audience are you targeting with your offer? What do they struggle with and what kind of transformation can you help them achieve?
Then, you need to research how your offer fits into your target market. Some of the questions you may want to investigate include:
→ Is my course topic relevant to my target audience?
→ Is there a demand for the knowledge that I want to share?
→ What is being taught in the market already?
Doing this research before you actually start creating your course will help you create better course materials because you’ll be creating content that’s actually in demand.
#2. Draft Your Course Outline
Once you know there’s sufficient demand for your offer, it’s time to organize your ideas and create an outline. Drafting a comprehensive outline is key to creating a successful course, so plan to spend a hefty amount of time on it. The building blocks to strategize this stage include:
→ Learning outcomes or goals of your course
→ The sequence of your modules and lessons
→ Format of your course (ex: video lessons, PDF workbooks, etc.)
→ Supplemental and/or bonus materials
If you want to get the exact steps on how to create a course outline, read this blog post!
#3. Determine the Price Point
Figuring out how much to charge for your online course doesn’t come naturally to most people. Keep the following in mind when finding the right price for your program.
- Consider the impact of your course. How will the transformation you help your students achieve change their life? How much time and effort are you going to save them? Can you quantify it?
- Think about the value of what’s included. Does your course include any high-level support, such as coaching calls or 1:1 support? Are you sharing any exclusive knowledge that very few people have?
- Determine how much revenue you want to make and the size of your audience. You can make $50,000 by selling a $1,000 course to 50 people or a $100 course to 500. What kind of goals do you have for your online course launch?
This is also a great time to decide on payment plans. Giving your audience the option to split up the payment will make your program more accessible to a wider audience.
#4. Develop Your Course Materials
Once you have the bones of your online course figured out, it’s time to develop your course materials. Depending on the format of your course, you’ll need to create guides, workbooks, checklists, templates, and recorded video lessons.
Some course creators get stuck thinking that they need to invest in expensive gear to create educational content and videos. But, you can use simple, budget-friendly tools to create high-quality materials.
We have an entire blog post dedicated to this topic, but some of our favorite tools include:
One of the reasons why online course creation is booming is its accessibility. Many course creation tools have free versions or affordable price points, so don’t talk yourself out of creating a course if you don’t want to spend a fortune on expensive cameras or software.
#5. Figure Out Your Tech
Selling a digital product means you’ll need to use digital platforms and tools to host your course and power your launch. Just like with developing course materials, you don’t need the most sophisticated software. You will need:
- Course hosting platform, such as Teachable or Kajabi
- Payment processor, such as Stripe, PayPal, or Square
- Email marketing system, such as Active Campaign or MailerLite
Finding the right tools that you are comfortable using will make the launching feel easier because everything will be running smoothly.
#6. Set Your Sales Strategy
It’s not enough to create a course…you also need to sell it. There is so much marketing information on how to sell a course, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The truth is, the best sales strategy is the one that you can actually commit to.
Here are some basics that most course creators will need to market their course:
- Sales page, a standalone page that explains the benefits and features of your online course and persuades your target audience to buy your product
- Email marketing system to advertise your online course with launch emails
- Social media channel, such as Instagram, Facebook, or another platform that your target audience frequents
You may also want to invest in ads, or host webinars to promote your offer…but it isn’t always necessary. You can sell your course to your current audience simply through email marketing and social media.
It’s tempting to market your offer on every single social media platform, from TikTok to YouTube, but the truth is, it’s much better to be consistent on one platform than inconsistent on multiple ones.
#7. Plan Your Course Launch
It’s important to create a realistic timeline for your course creation and launch. If you have a warm, ready-to-buy audience, your launch can be as short as 3 weeks. But, if your audience is cold, expect to spend about 2 months warming them up.
Keep in mind that validating your idea, drafting up an outline, and recording lessons…it all takes time, and trying to do too much too quickly can lead to burnout or poor-quality course materials.
So, give yourself adequate time to research and prepare everything you need to set yourself up for success.
→ Would you rather trust an expert with your course creation? We offer curriculum writing and full-course build-out for entrepreneurs who’re ready to welcome impact & income into their business.
The Importance of Framework
The e-learning industry offers many opportunities, but it’s also very competitive. To stand out, you need to build a course that delivers a real transformation.
Many people start writing courses without a clear path to success or a proven system. They base them on their own skills or circumstantial things that have worked for them in the past, without a strategic framework and intentional course design.
As a result, these online courses don’t translate well into the 1:many structure.
Here at DB Course Strategies, we design 6-figure course curriculums and execute full course build-outs so you can confidently teach people your expertise and scale your business.