The benefits of online courses are many. But before you ask Why sell Online Courses? Ask yourself this: Why not?
You owe it yourself and your business (see below).
If you ever wondered why there’s all the rage with online courses, you aren’t alone. According to GMInsights online course stats,
…The market size of e-learning surpassed USD 250 billion in 2020 and will witness a CAGR of over 21% through 2027. The e-learning market is expected to exceed $325Billion by 2025.
If anything, as a business, you should be a part of it.
It’ll grow even more if you consider that the research was done for developed markets mostly.
There’s a fair share of online course creators in India, Brazil, Malaysia, Singapore, and several other markets.
Even if you got about the ubiquitous “Will online courses make money?” question, there are several other reasons why you should consider launching online courses. Some of these benefits of online courses are good for you. Your online courses are almost always good for others.
What’s Needed For Online Courses?
Trust me. I’ve gone to great lengths (and tons of unnecessary expenses for stuff that’s just piling up here) thinking that I need this and that. I just don’t need anything.
To create online courses, all you need is your laptop and a screen recording software. Or if you want to show up on videos, you can opt for a table tripod and mount your smartphone on it.
Really, that’s all it takes.
You don’t need no fancy green screens, RED cameras, filming studios, or anything else at all.
- Pick an appropriate platform to host your courses. There’s the usual WordPress LMS option (and that takes some work to stitch it all together). Or, you have options like Podia and Thinkific. Some free and really good options include Payhip & Gumroad (of these two, I recommend Payhip).
- Decide the topic the course should be on.
- Research, plan, create an outline, gather data or info.
- Start recording.
- Add additional notes, documents, or anything else (if required)
- Prepare to sell your courses.
Apart from the basics of online course creation, there are challenges that course creators face, and that doesn’t even include the eCommerce platforms to choose or even making a choice between some of the popular online course platforms.
There’s also the question of picking up an online platform with some non-negotiable features.
If you get past all of the above, what separates the most successful creators in the knowledge economy from the rest? How has the pandemic changed online learning?
And is it too late to put out a course on how to make your own sourdough starter?
The answers are here: Check out the 2022 Online Learning Trends
The team at Thinkific analyzed metadata from the top 20% of creators to discover what exactly it is they’re doing differently to make them so successful.
Now, you can see which trends set the trailblazers apart — and how you can use their tactics to bring in more business and better engage students in 2022.
Take a look to see for yourself…
- How do the top creators keep students engaged for longer?
- What is their secret to growing their business?
- Where do top creators focus their time?
- What takeaways can someone just starting out learn from them?
The report is chock-full of insights you can put into action today. Because if you’re still creating courses the same way you were two years ago — you might be missing out on some huge opportunities.
Top Benefits Of Online Courses
Note: Just because I write benefits of online courses doesn’t you’d have to drop what you are doing and get on to the bandwagon. No matter what some people would like you to believe, selling courses is hard; but not impossible. Also, there are several other ways to follow through with any of the benefits below (in other formats, in other ways — see below).
Now, let’s see the benefits of online courses:
Online Courses are Profitable, Right Off the Bat
Are online courses profitable? Of course, they are. Regardless of how you choose to approach your online course launches, you are in it for all the good reasons.
To create online courses, you’d need to put in the effort. That’s it.
Need proof as to how profitable online courses are?
Make an Impact
The moment you show up — with your voice and a talking head or both — you are primed to make first impressions (and then continuously enough to influence).
We are all programmed to get influenced by others. That’s fact. But text (like this) or an ad or a single email can only do so much.
Your courses (free or paid) immediately transform an otherwise impassive online interaction into some sort of a superpower — an immediate connection between you and your student, made possible due to knowledge transfer.
That’s not to mention respect, reverence, and a sense of gratitude your students (or customers) feel when they complete course and feel like they just learned something valuable.
Teaching is the New Consulting
Lots of self-employed professionals provide consulting services (either as a primary service or as a secondary one). Doctors, dentists, marketers, developers, fitness trainers, graphic artists, marketing automation specialists, and many more professionals do provide consulting services.
It’s a nice gig. The trouble? It can never scale. You can’t do more than what the calendar (and you) allow.
Then, there’s the question of pricing consulting services. Going back and forth battling with yourself trying to get to the sweet spot where price is concerned: you think you deserve $150/ hour while the client wants to pay not more than $75/hour.
Then, it’s about the endless communication just to get things going, to collect documents (or anything else professionals need to get work done), to communicate with clients, and so on.
Like I said, it’s good. Just not scalable while being limited in reach.
Take all that you know and compile it into a snazzy, well-packed online course (solving specific problems that you already know your clients have) and that’s it.
Take course. Go from A to B. Save everyone’s time.
Show Your Personality
I am a creative, fun person to be around. I doubt you’d ever get to know that if you just read this post.
Here’s something that I just heard from Madylyn’s Voice Tweet:
In the Tweet, she mentions:
“…a lot of people don’t like their voices. “
“Our voices make us unique”.
That’s the message for all of us: Our voices can reach far (and deep) and make a difference (if only we let them).
While we might not like our own voices, others find it sexy. Just saying.
Now, bring in voice (and it’d be so much better to bring in all of yourself) into your courses and you are doing several good things at once: Your voice and your video are making a huge impact. This is the next best thing to you being there, in person.
You are teaching. You help solve problems others benefit from.
Note: For my courses and YouTube videos, I am still not able to show my fun self anyway (that’s something I need to work on). I certainly know that there’s a chance you might not be grumpy like me at all.
Teaching Puts You On learning Mode, Forever.
The best part about doing online courses is that it automatically puts you in an ongoing, never-ending “learning mode”. You are forced to learn (more than what you might think).
Apart from the “knowledge” itself that you’d have to learn (or maybe just refresh what you already know), there’s more.
To do courses alone, you’d need to break the barriers in your own head and make a decision. Assuming you do that, you’d have to learn to plan, schedule, research, outline, create online courses, edit your courses, and put them up on a platform like Thinkific, Podia, or Payhip
You’d then have to promote online courses (no, if you build they won’t come) — which is a lifelong and sometimes back-breaking effort by itself.
You’d then have to learn to take feedback, implement this feedback into your courses, and constantly twiddle and edit those courses all over again.
I’d go as far as to know that success with online courses really comes from learning more than teaching or training itself.
Teaching Online Teaches You Not To Ramble
In a recent conversation with Ryan Biddulph of Blogging from paradise, It dawned on both of us as to just how much people ramble on their online videos, webinars, online courses, and other content they create.
While it’s gratifying to see that so many people have already taken the first step to “create”, which puts them in the top 1% of the global population, it’s just sad that the rambling goes on and on.
Both Ryan and I concluded that we should learn to “Condense, focus, and stick to the point).
If you agree, you’d now have to learn “not to ramble”. To “Trim the fat and get right to the content”, as Ryan puts it.
Now, that? It’s even more practice, learning, and some more learning (Was I rambling again? Heck, this entire post is a ramble).
Teaching Online Makes You Sharp As a Tack
Let’s bring all of what we’ve learnt so far:
- Making the decision (taking leaps of faith — for each course you create)
- Research, learning, gathering information, planning, creating outlines for courses, creating courses themselves (recording videos, anyone), editing courses, and more.
- Promoting and selling courses
- If you are service provider, freelancer, consultant, or a solo business owner, online courses (or even a bunch of videos) help package information better (saving time for everyone)
- You are on the learning mode forever.
- You are forced to think straight, not ramble, and condense information. Yet, it’d have to be simple enough for others to understand.
Isn’t it life changing already?
Combine all of this. Your continuous learning mode already makes you pretty darned clever. You learn, execute, apply, and then teach? You are close to as superhuman as possible.
All of this makes you sharp.
Sheer monstrosity — in a good way.
It Doesn’t have to be Online Courses…
I understand that launching actual “online courses” might not be for everyone. Some do it. Some prefer doing what they already do.
The point I am trying to make is that it’s unfair to “box” all kinds of teaching and training into something like “online courses”. There are some who still teach, make an impact, and do well for themselves even without ever going in the direction of “online courses”.
Some awesome folks make an impact even without all-out, “I teach, you listen” stuff.
See what some of these people do (in so many different ways). They do what they can. In a way that they find comfortable. You See?
Ryan Biddulph of bloggingfromparadise is a prolific blogger, author, long-time blogging veteran, and travels the world while he blogs.
Many people blog. Many people travel and blog as well. Ryan, however, has an old-school way of doing things. Together with his YouTube channel, his blog, and his booksHis approach has always been to put people first, to get to know people well, and put in the effort for blogging aimed squarely for the long-term. The far too common “Make a million in a week” crap won’t ever get his attention.
If you need to learn blogging (the honest way, the good way, and sometimes frustrating way), he is the person you should go to.
Would you like to meet a business owner who does things her own way, contributes to the benefit of her clients, and still takes time out to help others? Meet Lisa Olinda of Olinda Services. Lisa is all about providing executive business services, business assistance, virtual assistance, and business operations streamlining for her clients.
That’s what she does. Great.
There are many copywriters, professional writers, bloggers, and creative writers out there (I know, because I used to be one of those professionals myself). Some professionals take a much more generous (and bold) approach to their work. See what Becca Phengvath of RobinWriters does: apart from an active presence on Twitter, she writes helpful blogs on writing for a purpose, writing clearly, and writing professional.
At the time of writing this, she was planning to create online courses. Even before that, however, her videos
Barry Hott is a social ads rockstar. He’s been helping businesses with social ads since 08′ having worked with brands like AT&T, Toyota, Kraft, and Microsoft. He has a YouTube channel where he has videos on social ads (including Facebook ads), and he is active on Twitter (including Twitter Spaces). Having spent more than $600 million on ads (not all of it is his own), he has a matured and sensible perspective on paid ads in particular.
Unlike several 18 year olds who show off how many millions they make (or maybe just spend) on YouTube, his balanced and professional insights are a rare thing.
Then, there are a few others making a huge difference with Twitter Spaces (Yes, Twitter….Spaces). ..
Madalyn Sklar is a Twitter marketing coach (@MadalynSklar), a social media evangelist, a blogger, Podcaster, and speaker. She runs the popular #TwitterSmarter chat and hosts a Twitter Space called #TwitterAudits — where she (along with several regular co-hosts, including George below) audits Twitter profiles (among other things).
By herself, with all of the content she produces (how does she do that?), she is already helping several people at once, almost at scale.
Of course, she teaches online courses too.
Apart from hosting Twitter Spaces with Madylyn (above), George ( @GeorgeSilverman) is a Psychologist and is well-known for his MindSkills Playbook. The book itself is continuously worked on (his version of #buildinpublic) while he contributes to Twitter Spaces he hosts (or those he is already a part of).
Make Your Own Path
[No, Gumroad is not as good as you think]
Or do what some these professionals, business owners, and creators do. The point is this: make your own path. Find your own way.