Important truths you should know before you create a course
Can you tell the truth from the lie in the following 3 statements about online courses?
- The year 2020 made a lot of people skeptical about online courses.
- The online course industry is expected to grow to 458 BILLION dollars by the year 2026.
- Creating a quality online course experience is not something that can be automated.
Make your guess before you keep reading!! No cheating.
#1 Post-2020, people are skeptical about online courses.
This is TRUE.
Everyone and their grandma took time to create a course and everyone and their grandma took a course. Which means a lot of people had poor experiences with online courses. A lot of those digital courses were underwhelming and lackluster. Now, they’re a bit more wary about investing in a course. They aren’t ready to throw down a couple hundred dollars in just any course.
In fact, they are more willing to throw down more money into a course because the inexpensive courses (think $100-$300) are the types of courses they’re wary of. They’re worried that those courses really aren’t going to deliver on their promise.
- people are taking more time to invest
- they might wait until you’ve done your first launch
- they might ask a whole lot more questions before enrolling
- they are more likely to avoid cheap courses
Now, this doesn’t mean that people aren’t investing in inexpensive courses but you’re going to have to build a lot of KLAT with those people before they’re going to be willing to purchase a low-level course from you.
KLAT stands for Know, Like And Trust.
The low price is a red flag to them that this might not be a quality course because of past experiences they’ve had.
While they may take longer to invest, they do invest and they’re often investing more than they would have pre-2020. In addition, many people had great experiences with courses in 2020. They were thrilled with the highly experiential courses that delivered on what they promised. And now they are carefully looking for additional courses for that next step to take; to progress their education in whatever topic you teach about.
#2 The digital course industry is expected to grow to 458 Billion dollars by 2026.
Before 2020, this estimation for 2026 was around $314 billion. Then 2020 happened.
Everyone and their grandma used their time to create a course. Everyone and their grandma took a course. We were all floundering. Right? What do we do with our time sitting here in our houses? Business owners, especially business owners whose business models got shut down, like a gym, had nothing to do.
They started to create online courses. They started to move their businesses online. This has created an incredible shift. And the digital course industry, instead of being around $314 billion, is going to grow to 458 Billion dollars by 2026. That’s a big difference.
How to break down the projected size of the digital course industry
If you’re anything like me, the difference between a million and a billion is really, really hard to wrap my mind around. I think, “Okay. A billion is a thousand millions, but a thousand dollars doesn’t seem like that much of a difference.” I know it’s not a thousand dollars, but it’s a thousand units and it just doesn’t feel like it’s going to be that much more.
So here’s something that will help you understand the difference, how big 458 billion is. If you were to count one number per second, it would take you 12 days to count to a million. If you counted 24 hours a day, every single second, it would take you 12 days. But if you were to count to a billion at the same rate, it would take you over 32 years.
That blows my mind how big the number 1 billion is, and this industry is going to have $458 billion available. That’s a lot of money to go around.
So, if you have heard from experts that online courses are dead and you don’t want to be doing an online course anymore, they’re wrong. The digital course industry is booming.
Why you need to create transformational curriculum
You can’t just create a lackluster, underwhelming course with nothing but a talking head. Just me and you talking here and it’s just my head. There’s nothing else that’s helping you learn. You can’t create a course like that anymore. Courses like that would have sold before 2020, but now people are avoiding them. They’ve seen what a quality course looks like and they’re looking for that again.
If people are buying online courses and they’re paying more for them than they ever have before, why haven’t you created one yet? I bet it’s because you believe the last statement.
#3 Creating a high-level digital course cannot be automated.
This is a big lie.
I think we can all agree that automation is a huge part of a successful online business. Especially for moms who really care about our kids and want to be here with them. We don’t want a business model that’s going to take an enormous amount of time from us and then require us to be directly involved with each and every student, one-on-one, go live all the time, and create this experience for people. If we can’t just record the videos once and put them up, leave it alone and sell it, then it feels like something that might not work for us and our families.
Good news – this is a lie.
Step #1 to create a course that offers a great experience
You need transformation curriculum that is structured.
This is not my specialty. I leave this to my friend, Deb Barnes, who has 20 years experience creating this type of transformational curriculum.
You can certainly create this type of curriculum for a digital course yourself. If that’s your jam, go for it!
But, if you don’t want to spend the time doing that and want Deb’s help, she’s got an amazing course or she’ll help you one-on-one.
If you can create a course with tranformational curriculum, then you are way ahead of the game. You are going to do better than most in the online course industry.
Step #2 to create a course that offers a great experience (for you and your learners)
Even if you have amazing curriculum, you still need one more essential tool.
It’s the automation that allows us to create an individualized, personalized experience for each student without us having to be personally involved every step of the way.
I want to give you some examples of what I’m talking about, but also resources. You can learn how to do all of this yourself in my new course Accessally Academy or you can hire me to set up the tech for you. Here’s some examples of what I mean:
- Your students can get a congratulations email immediately when they finish a module. You can be at soccer practice with your kids and that email automatically gets sent when the module is completed.
- Maybe a little gift in that email where you’re doing a little dance and cheering them on.
- Or they get a pop-up on screen congratulating them.
- You could also send the same type of email when they get a particularly stellar score on a lesson.
- Students will be able to interact with other students in small cohorts or large communities.
- Students can earn points as they work their way through the course and turn those points in for prizes. Some of which might be one-on-one time with you.
I’m not telling you here that you will not be involved at all, but we can automate a large portion of this. No more writing down points and keeping track on your own. That can all be automated.
Additional ideas to create a course people will love
Give opportunities for students to easily track their progress with checklists and progress bars and graphs. This will help them know exactly how far they’ve come in your course and how much further they have to go so that they can stay motivated.
You can also award things like badges and privileges to students as they progress through your course. This can create some friendly competition if you have a community or cohort attached to your course.
You can even create a course where students can have a ‘choose your own adventure’ experience. Students have the ability to select the curriculum that is best for them.
For example, I used to teach about emergency preparedness and it’s not particularly linear. Somebody might be working on water storage and somebody else is working on being prepared for a power outage. One of those doesn’t necessarily need to come before the other.
So we can create a course where they are allowed to unlock the content that they want, as they go along, to create their own unique experience within that course.
These are just a few of the types of things you and I can do together to create a course that has both transformational curriculum and is an automated experience for your people.
Create a course that provides an opportunity for connection
It’s this type of tech and automation that takes the solitary and sometimes isolating experience of a digital course, where you’re sitting in a room alone, to an experience where a student feels like they’re interacting with you.
You’re congratulating them at the right time. You’re giving them points and prizes. They even have communities and cohorts where they can get to know other people.
It takes it from that isolating experience to a community experience, a connecting experience. These are the types of courses that your students are going to love and shout about from the rooftops and tell their friends about. They’re transformational, especially when paired with transformational curriculum.
If this sounds like something that you are interested in, stay tuned because I am going to be releasing weekly videos that are going to help you do exactly that. Create an experience instead of a course, because courses are dead. You need to create an experience instead.