I see it ALL the time: someone gets into the entrepreneur space, sees someone else creating a course, and tries to jump right in and create their own. Courses are exciting, so I get it! But a lot of times, we have that thought before we're ready to actually create a course. So let’s dive in: Are you ready to create a course?
Are you ready to create a course?
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
Having the knowledge to create a course doesn’t mean you’re ready.
In one of my interviews for my other podcast, Small Town, Big Biz, I was talking to a business owner who said they wanted to create a course for passive income. And I immediately said, “that’s great – but not yet!” That person hasn’t established themselves as an expert in the field they want to create a course in – which means they wouldn’t be able to sell it well.
Having the knowledge is the number one step to creating a course, but it is NOT the only step. If you have the knowledge but don’t have the other things I’m about to mention, then the answer to ‘are you ready to create a course?” is NO.
If you are already pursuing a million things in your business, then you are NOT ready to create a course.
I am a multi-passionate person too, so I get it. But ANYTHING you want to do in your business requires focus. You can’t pursue 17 different things at first and then add a course on top of it. Focus your time and energy on one avenue, and once you’ve hit your income goal, maybe then add on another one.
I’m five years into being a course creator, and I have learned over the past five years that I HAVE to focus my energy and attention on launches. I’m mid-prep for a launch right now, and just yesterday I wanted to change my entire business model. And thankfully I’ve LEARNED not to take immediate action on those ideas. I have taught myself how to focus my energy and attention on course launches.
If that sounds like you, and you have a bunch of half-finished projects and are constantly bouncing around, then you are not ready to create a course yet. Even if you have everything else on this list, you need to learn how to focus on a project before you create a course.
If you don’t have the financial backing to spend time creating the course, you aren’t ready to create one.
There are really two qualifications to create passive income.
- You have to be ready to go months and months without income because you have to focus on creating the thing, launching it, etc.
- You need to have built up a significant business FIRST before you’re able to switch into course mode
Courses take awhile to build and successfully launch multiple times. If you don’t have some padding coming in from another business financially, you’re going to potentially be hurting in the meantime.
To create a course, you need to be clear on these things:
- WHO you are talking to?
- WHAT PROBLEM are they facing?
- HOW are you going to fix that problem?
- WHERE will they end up after taking your course?
The answers to those questions should be SPECIFIC
Your “who” should be SUPER specific, and so should your problem.
Maybe you want to teach people to create digital products. Instead of saying “I teach all entrepreneurs to build digital products,” you need to focus that idea. Try “I teach burnt-out service-based business owners how to create digital products so that they can work less and live more.”
Your course needs to offer those specific people TANGIBLE things
Too many people try to sell fluff in a course. People don’t buy fluff – they buy tactical, tangible advice. You need to put a measurement of what you’re teaching in the course so that a potential customer knows.
Know who they are, what problem they have, how you’re going to solve it, and what result they’re going to get.
You HAVE to have that path before you create a course. The tech and audience are secondary to those questions.
You need to know more than just the course topic, but EXACTLY the who and the what
The messaging on your sales page should make them feel seen.
It’s OKAY to exclude somebody else here. You want to talk directly to that “WHO” about their problem and your solution. If you make your sales page too general, it won’t appeal to anybody. We make course sales when we speak directly to that exact person who the course will benefit.
And knowing the exact person you’re selling to will also guide how you create the course! You may make a very different course if you make a Facebook ads course for solopreneurs who know Facebook ads could benefit them but can’t hire help and don’t know where to start than one targeted at an ad agency.
People tend to get stuck on course topics rather than the people. “I want to create a course on Etsy” is fine, but you need to know who that Etsy course is for, what they’re going through, and where they want to be or else it won’t be a good course.
If you nail your positioning, the course WILL sell
I recently released a small offer funnel called “Crash Course Toolkit.” That funnel has sold and converted at way higher rates than some of the other ones I released because I nailed the positioning!
I’m talking to the person who’s creating their first course. They’re creating that course because they’re burned out, sick of trading dollars for hours, tired of working with clients, and sick of working when they could be spending time with their kids because they don’t have a choice.
They want a solution to that problem. My solution is creating a course – and here’s a bundle of stuff to help you do just that.
The order bump in my funnel is the “Course Tech Deck” that walks you through all of the tech-side of course creation. I KNOW that “But what tech do I use to do this?” is the very next question that person will ask after they see the course. I’m answering that right in the order bump.
I know the NEXT question is “that’s all great, but I don’t have an audience to sell it to.” The one-time offer in my funnel? 12 weeks to an audience who’s BEGGING for your offer.
Until you’re clear on who and what, you can’t develop your course. Your positioning will be all wrong.
Know the “guaranteed” results of your course
You can’t actually guarantee results from your course, because you can’t MAKE somebody do what you’re telling them to do in the course. The guarantee is more for your positioning because the actual results are up to them.
Maybe my husband wants to teach a gardening course to people who live in urban areas and want to grow their own vegetables but don’t have the space or knowledge to do it. His solution is the course he builds about gardening for them. And the guaranteed result is that they end up having a vegetable garden that sustains them without killing it.
Let’s talk about audiences now…
You DO have to have an audience to create and sell a course. But your audience doesn’t have to be huge.
Here’s where the problem lies: if you already have a service-based business for example, then you HAVE an audience. But that audience probably is NOT the same people that you’d want to talk to in a course.
If you only have 200 people in your audience, but all of those people fit your ideal client perfectly, there are tons of possibilities! But if you have an audience of 200 that aren’t the right fit for your course, you likely won’t see success.
If you feel stuck because you don’t have a big audience, DON’T!
Course audience vs. current business audience
You do need an audience, but it doesn’t need to be big. What you need is a focused audience that is EXACTLY the people you’re going to sell the course to.
There tends to be a disconnect between current business and course business. Maybe you have 10,000 followers somewhere, but they are current business audience and not course business audience. You’ll see that disconnect when you try to sell your course.
You don’t need a big audience, but you need a focused audience. And you can’t get in front of that audience until you know exactly who they are and what problem you’re solving.
See how it all goes back to those ideas?
So, are you ready to create a course?
If you know who you're talking to, what their problem is, and how you're solving it with tangible results, then you're ready to create a course. You just might need some time to build up an audience. But trust me, it doesn't have to take that long.