Build an Online Course to Create Passive Income in 4 Easy Steps
Expand your reach and supplement your income with an online course your audience will love
There’s never been a better time to put an online course into the marketplace.
People are looking for online activities with more meaning, ones that offer more valuable ways to spend their time. They’re hungry to make progress, to learn, to transform.
If you’re a coach or consultant, an online course is a great way to:
- Expand your reach
- Diversify your offerings
- Supplement your business income
- Stop trading dollars for hours
- Establish yourself as THE expert
Now you may be wondering: Where do I start?
Maybe you’re like my friend, Susie, a long-time nanny and chef who wants to create an online community, and ultimately, an online course. She is working on building her contacts list and growing her online presence, and wants to know how to start the course-creation process.
If you’re in the same position, check out these four steps:
1. What do you love to teach?
When you’re ready to develop your course idea, take a little time and explore the following questions:
- What areas of business are you considered an expert in?
- What topic could you talk about for hours with ease?
- What are the areas where you enjoy helping others?
Any great idea starts with what you are passionate about (or even borderline obsessed with). You want to be passionate because you will be spending a lot of time on this topic, cultivating your content and creating your course.
My friend Susie is passionate about teaching families with toddlers and preschoolers how to create healthy eating routines. Here are just a few topics Susie could choose to focus on:
- Nutrition for toddlers
- How to troubleshoot eating meltdowns
- How to help your toddler try new foods
And, if you have too many ideas for a course, step 2 might help.
2. What core topic is your ideal audience interested in?
Along with choosing a subject you’re passionate about, it’s essential that you select one that is meaningful to your audience.
Answer the following questions:
- Who do you want to serve?
- What are their pain points?
- What solution are they looking for right now?
In order to create a course that sells, you want to identify how your solution is going to help your specific audience.
For Susie, her audience’s pain point is clear to any mom — feeding toddlers and preschoolers can be tough! Her solutions seek to help moms and dads with picky kids set up routines that encourage exploration. She has great recipes for kids that get them involved in the kitchen, and she even offers scripts on how to talk to children about food to help them understand why it’s so important to eat a more diverse diet.
The idea here is to start with a concrete problem your audience has and identify the unique solution you are going to provide for them.
3. What can you start publishing content about?
Even before you begin creating your course, start getting into the habit of regularly creating content and publishing your thoughts on your website or your social media platforms via videos, a blog, or a podcast. Create content that solves that pain point you addressed in Step 2. This will help you stand out as an expert and start to build a community.
As a course creator, you’re also a content creator! You want to be publishing content on a consistent basis to establish your expertise and authority. Identify how you will produce ongoing content that aligns with your course.
Here are some questions to consider when planning your content:
- What type of content do you want to create? Blog? Videos? Podcasts?
- How frequently will you share content?
- Where will you promote your content? Facebook? LinkedIn? Instagram?
- What are 4 or 5 subtopics you can focus on that solve your audience’s pain point in the area you’ve chosen to highlight?
For Susie, she’s not “video-ready” (her words), but she’s great at writing. So she could start consistently publishing a blog each week, share it everywhere on social media, and start to build her community.
4. What can I offer that’s unique?
No matter your topic, it’s likely that there will be other course creators covering the same content, and that’s great. That means there is a paying market for what you do! Your process is what will make you stand out from the competition and resonate with your ideal audience.
Here are some questions to help you uncover your process:
- What’s your unique system for delivering results?
- What patterns do you see with your solutions?
- What’s your step-by-step process?
After you have consistently produced content for a few months (maybe sooner!) you’ll start to see patterns that will become the structure of your online training.
For Susie, she consistently uses the same 4-step system with every family she helped as a nanny. That 4-step pattern could become her signature system for her online course.
Once you’ve gone through these four steps, you’re in a great place to start thinking about building — and ultimately marketing — your first course.
Join Gina for her upcoming CoveyClub workshop, How to Turn Your Expertise Into an Income-Generating Course. Register here.
Gina Onativia of the Course Creation Boutique helps experts, speakers, and entrepreneurs get their courses done and out to the world. She has built digital courses for Tony Robbins, Giuliana Rancic and Jason Kennedy, and bestselling author Bo Eason. When she’s not creating courses she’s playing tennis with her Art Director hubby, Alex, and 8-year-old, Tristan. You can follow Gina on LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook.