How to Create an Online Course Without the Tech Overwhelm
New course creators get so consumed by all the technology out there. It's like crazy! There are so many options. You have this “guru” telling you that you must have this type of technology to have a successful online course. You have the software companies and the app developers saying that our platform is the best. You must have it if you want to be a successful course creator.
There’s a lot of noise out there on the market so it is so easy to get confused. When I started my first online course, I had my email service provider. I had my WordPress website. I had a landing page builder. I had apps that integrate the software. I had design technology. I had editing technology. I had a video editor and it goes on and on and on. I consider myself pretty tech-savvy. Yet even I was frustrated with everything that it seemed like you need it to put an online course together.
That's why I'm going to talk about how to create an online course without the tech overwhelm. The unfiltered truth!
Keep It Simple
First I want to say, keep it simple. Let me explain what I mean by this. I see many new course creators that try to get everything perfect on their first course launch. They try to put all the bells and whistles together and that slows down the progress.
I'm not a proponent of that. You want to get your course out there quickly so that you can get feedback and make the dinero - money. If we spend months and in some cases, I know of entrepreneurs that have spent years trying to create an online course, we are losing ground. You don't make money building a course, trialing different software, or testing different platforms. You don't make money getting the course perfect. You make money by selling your course and you can't sell what you don't have. You must become very aware of what you need to do to get your course quickly out there in the market. So you can show your expertise, what you do in your business and help the people that your course is designed to help.
So I'm a big proponent of keeping it simple. Too many first-time course creators over-complicate the process. They over-complicate it with all of this technology that they don't even need. When you've had a couple of hundred people to come through your course or a couple of thousand then you can add all the bells and whistles. We want to get your course out there to establish your credibility in your area of expertise and to help the people that you want to help as well as create that new income stream. And that happens by taking action to create a quality course.
Start With a Live Version
Start with a live version first. So many times I see a course creator who spends a lot of money, creating videos, getting the videos edited, adding music, adding fancy animations and effects. Then they're overwhelmed because they've got maybe 60 videos, 40 videos. That's a lot of videos for someone for their first time out to handle. When I say live version, I'm talking about actually going out there and doing a live workshop or a masterclass or whatever you're calling your course. It could look like you've got six sessions and you do two hours, six sessions. And those sessions go over two weeks. Bam. You've just delivered your course.
This is why I like live sessions. A live session allows you to interact live with your ideal client or student for your course. After 2020, we're craving more interaction with each other and typically a live version of your training is considered higher value because they're meeting with you the expert in a live setting.
The second thing I like about live is that you're getting real-time feedback. So this real-time feedback with your live version is going to allow you to tweak your content and make it the best that it can be. After every session you're getting feedback from that audience to find out what worked, what would they like to see more or less of. Even what questions they have can show gaps, opportunities in the content that you've developed. Each session informs the next session which is what you want as a course creator. If you've got a course that delivers on its promises then you've got a brilliant course. People will be eager and excited to sign up, enroll and buy what you've created.
Turn Live Version Into Digital Course
Another reason for live is that you're going to use this live version later on. I believe in making efficient decisions, being productive, and doing things in a way that makes sense for you as a busy business owner. So follow me here now....you've got your live version that you've delivered. You've got your feedback from your audience. The second part of this is that once you're in a good place with your live content, then you're going to take those recordings and turn that into your digital course.
Does that make sense? Are you following me?
So you're taking that live. You're turning it into a digital version because you've got recordings up here of when you produce your course, the first time to your live audience. Now you're going to take that live. And you're going to chunk that down, meaning that you're going to find natural breaks because you set up your live version like that. You're going to chunk down that content into smaller bite-size learning. Those will become what we typically call your lessons in your course hosting platforms. So those will be your lessons. And you're going to chunk those down into smaller micro-lessons because that is now going to be your digital version. So then you're moving from the live version where you will live, you were meeting with them. And the only thing you need for that is a good platform.
You could do a Facebook group. You could do a Zoom webinar, Go-to-Meeting. You just need something that's going to broadcast well for you. You need a place to host the replays because likely there'll be people that maybe can't attend, or you want to give unlimited or some type of access to the training after the live event. So that's all you need here in this stage by itself, that's just reduce 60% of all the tech confusion when you're starting.
My grandmother used to say, 'child, you got to crawl before you can walk.' I want you to be able to start with a simple way to get your knowledge out there before you get into the more sophisticated digital version. I know this part is real sexy. Everybody wants this because, when you get to your digital version, you can send people to where these micro lessons are and they can do self-study. They can sign up for your course. You don't have to be live. They can do self-study, but we've got to crawl before we can start with the sexy digital. This right here is what trips so many people up because they try to take on too much as a beginner.
What's beautiful about that live version, in addition to all the benefits I've already talked about, you're going to get your first round of feedback from these people. You're going to feel very confident about what you're putting back out there, because your audience, your clients, your students in your course are going to be the source of your best feedback. They're going to be able to give you things that you never even thought of. I've created over 200 courses and it amazes me when I go out and I ask for feedback. I'm like, WOW, I didn't even think about that. This happens because we get tunnel vision and we get so far in the rabbit hole that we only see things from our perspective so you get eyes on what you're creating early on. Plus this is a paid version. You still charge for this live version. You're making money while you're tweaking and refining your course.
You're creating your course in a way that's savvy because you're using your time to not only do a live version and show the high value, but you're also using those recordings to repackage into your digital version. So these are the two main steps that you would take. This is where you start - the webinar platform and your video host. That's two pieces of technology! You may be able to host your videos on your existing website. Work with what you have. It's just that simple.
If your expertise is not editing videos and technology, which I'm assuming it's not, then this is a great place for you to outsource. Let someone else do that. You'll make money with your live version and when you're ready to turn it into a digital version, let someone do the editing and uploading for you. Let them take that off your hands. I'm a big proponent of staying in your genius zone.
If you're a CPA, keep CPAing and working with clients on their taxes, their accounting. If you're a baker, keep baking and creating those beautiful wedding cakes. The point is to operate from a place within your zone of genius and the best use of your time. If you know, this is not the best use of your time - editing, working with videos then let someone else do that for you. Upwork is a great place for outsourcing. They have a lot of great editors on there. They can take what you've created in step one and turn that into step two for you.
Does that make sense?
So I've just given you my process to create an online course without the overwhelm with a live version first - webinar platform, video hosting platform. Once you're good with that version, you turn it into a digital version and outsource anything that's not in your zone of genius. That's how you get it done my friend!
My hope is that you take this, you run with it because we need your knowledge. We need your expertise. And there are people out there that are waiting for that course that you've been dreaming of creating!
Ready to go from idea to sold?
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