Hey, everybody. Chris Holdheide here with sidehustleacademy.com, and in this video, I’m going to be talking about what makes a good online course, and specifically, I’m going to be talking about seven actionable tips that you can do to make sure your course turns out good.
The reason I’m talking about this topic is that I recently created my very first course, and it went okay, I can say, but it’s a course about helping people identify their idea and helping them too for their side business and helping them get started and getting that side business going.
That course is called Idea To Profit, and if you want to learn more about that course, you can go to sidehustleacademy.com/ideatoprofit. I’ll have a link in the description of this video on YouTube and in the blog post, so if you happen to check it out in either place, there will be a link there.
The reason I wanted to talk about this topic was that online courses are becoming a pretty big thing, and they are a great way to make a good income online.
The very first course I created, it wasn’t anything huge. It wasn’t anything big, but it was just something I could put out there and get started with, and that was the whole point of creating that course, was because I want to learn the process.
On top of that, I’ve taken a lot of courses over the years in the last 10 years or so. I’ve probably taken at least a dozen different courses at the very minimum, and I’ve learned a lot of things about creating courses.
What I found is that courses have to be done in a very specific process. They have to be done a certain way, and there are certain things that need to happen in those courses to make them great.
That’s what I’m going to be sharing in this video. Hopefully, this is going to be something that helps you.
If you are creating a new course, I want you to leave a comment down below in this video or on my blog post, and just share what you’re thinking about, as far as creating a course.
Are you thinking about creating a course or anything like that? Go ahead and do that at the end of this video. I’d love to hear more from you as well, so let’s get started.
Tip #1 Having a Solid Leader
The very first tip that I always think that needs to be prevalent is having someone that can lead you. When you think about any course that you’ve been in, I mean the last course maybe that you bought, can you picture the person that maybe helped you in that course, or the person that led that course, or the person that was teaching that course?
Can you think of that person in your mind?
I mean when you think about it, most great courses out there have somebody that leads the entire course. Just to give you an example, here’s a course that I recently signed up with, and that was called Drop Ship Lifestyle.
This is just a picture of their YouTube page, their front page. I mean you could see this person’s face is everywhere, everywhere in this course.
Everything that he does, he has his picture everywhere. That’s somebody who’s leading this course. That’s somebody that’s leading this course as it goes along.
What’s great about that is, is that it gives you somebody to become attached to. If you think about it, when you have a face that goes with something, it makes it a lot more believable and a lot more realistic, I guess, because what happens is, is you start to put a face with a brand.
For example, this is Anton Kraly from Drop Ship Lifestyle. I’m actually subscribed to his course. I like his course. I like his business model. I like the way he teaches his course.
There are a lot of reasons why I like this guy, but he teaches a lot of great stuff, but I love how he markets himself. I mean he’s got his face everywhere, and this really helps to put his brand with his face. I mean whenever I see this guy’s face, I think automatically, drop shipping, and that’s what I automatically think of.
My tip to you, the very first tip in this video is that you need to put your face everywhere.
- You need to put it on your YouTube channel.
- You need to put it on your website.
I mean here’s a look at my website. I mean automatically, guess what? There’s a picture of me right there in the sidebar. You’re seeing my face.
You’re seeing what I’m doing, and the same thing for you. Put it on your blog. Put it on your YouTube channel. Put it on your Instagram. Put it on, I don’t care what it is, Snapchat.
Get your face everywhere because when people see your face, they’re going to associate your face with your brand. When you see my face, you’re associating with starting a side hustle, so there’s a reason to the rhyme.
Now, you might be thinking, “Man, I’m just someone who’s scared. Do I really want to put my face out there?”
The answer is, you got to get over that. I mean when I first started, yeah, I was scared as heck. I had no idea what was going to happen. I’m going to put my face out there, and people are going to laugh at me, but you have to learn to get over that.
I mean that stuff is going to happen, regardless if you don’t put your face out there, so it’s probably just better if you put your face out there and just get it over with. That’s my number one tip. My first tip is just to get your face out there and give people someone to follow.
Tip #2 Have a Solid Path to Follow
Okay, number two, have a solid path to follow. When I think about courses that I’ve taken in the past, and I’ve taken a lot of them, I’ve been in courses where the path was, eh, and I’ve been in courses where the path has been really good.
A recent course I took, just probably a few years ago, this course was all about affiliate marketing. I was really wanting to learn more about affiliate marketing, and so I bought this course. It was great.
I started to go through it, and I realized something, that the course was just giving me tips. It wasn’t giving me a path to follow, per se, like, “Hey, this is where you start, and this is where you end.”
No, this course was, “Hey, here’s how you do this, okay? In this lesson, you’re going to learn this. In the next lesson, you’re going to learn how to do this other thing over here,” and the problem was, it felt like a bunch of blog posts just randomly shoved into a course, I guess.
It had good advice. I mean it had great advice, I could say, but it wasn’t done in a path that people could follow, that would get them a result. I’m going to in a minute, but for now, they weren’t giving me a path to follow.
mean they gave great information, but just didn’t give me anything in a solid path. If you’re going to create a course, you need to have a definite beginning point. You need to have a definite endpoint, for sure, in the course.
If you create your course, and it’s just a whole bunch of stuff jumbled up and put into a something like Teachable, great, but it’s not really getting me a specific result. I mean we can learn just basic general information by going to Google and typing a search in, right, but we want a specific path to follow. That’s the whole point of creating a course in the first place. That’s number two, have a solid path to follow.
Tip #3 Have a Place Where People Can Communicate
Okay, so number three, the third tip here is to have a place where people can communicate, and more importantly, create a community within your course. I think the community is one of the reasons people stay in your course.
I mean information that the videos and the information that you put out there, that’s going to be helpful. The path people follow that’s going to be helpful, but the community is why people are going to stay. I mean when they have a reason, they can come back, and they can talk to people they know.
They make relationships with people. A community is going to be a huge part in creating your course and making it long-lasting and keeping people sticking around for the long-term.
How can we get people to communicate in our course? Here are a few different ways you can go about it.
#1 Lesson Comments
Number one here is to just have comments at the end of every lesson. If you think about it, every time you do a lesson in your course, just, people have the ability to leave a comment at the end of that lesson and ask a question.
Any way you can get people to do this is a great way to start spurring out that conversation and getting to learn more about the people that are in your course, because after all, when you start to get people to ask questions, it’s going to help you to identify the holes in your course and things you could improve upon as you move forward with your course.
#2 Private Facebook Group
The second thing you can do is just create a private Facebook group that everybody can go to, so when you first create your course, and people are coming into it, say, “Hey, I got a private Facebook group you can join.
Go over here.” The great thing about a private Facebook group is, is that everyone’s pretty much on Facebook anyway, so all they got to do is click a button.
You just have to approve them, and they’re in the group. It’s pretty simple. It’s straightforward, and the best part is, you don’t have to manage anything. Facebook does all of that. You just got to link it to your course, and you’re done, so pretty simple.
The other way you can do this is by forums, so you can actually set up a forum on Bbpress or BuddyPress, and you can get that all setup, and you can set up a forum to have people ask specific questions.
The great thing about forums is, is that you can break things down to specific categories, so if you want to group it by modules or lessons or whatever, you can have people asking questions in each specific form.
That way, people don’t have to go digging through, say, a Facebook feed or something like that. It makes it a lot more manageable, in a way.
#3 Q&A Calls
The final way to spark communication in a community is to do Q&A calls. This is just where you basically might do a YouTube live and have something like a Chatwing setup, and you get people to jump in and ask questions.
Maybe they just type a question in, and you answer it live right there on Facebook live or a YouTube live, and that makes conversation for people. I mean it’s a simple way to go and get people to start communicating with each other.
Believe me, when communities start to get a life of their own, it’s great because now, you know that people are into what you’re talking about, what your community and what your course is about, and that’s creating a life of its own eventually, but it will take time to get this going, so that’s my third tip here, is to have a place where people could communicate and start a community.
Tip #4 Deliver a Specific Result
The next step, number four, the fourth tip here is to deliver a specific result that people can get by taking your course.
Let’s think about this for a little bit. In the example, I gave before, the course that … The person that had the course about affiliate marketing, it was a great course, but the end result was what?
You had a blog. You had an affiliate. You were making money. What? What? There was no specific result that people were getting in the course. Now, backtrack a little bit here.
The first course I was talking about from Anton Kraly at Drop Ship Lifestyle, that course had a very specific result. That was to start a drop-ship business and start earning an income from it, very specific.
That’s exactly what people want to learn. If you’re joining that course, people know what they are getting. That’s why that course probably does 10 times better.
In fact, that guy charges roughly $2, 000 for that course and sells it every single day. The other course, it probably makes sales, but my guess is, it’s probably not doing as well as the latter course.
When you’re thinking about your course, start thinking about, “How am I going to help the people that are coming here? What is the result I’m getting?” Before I start creating one thing, one slide, one piece of content from my course, the very first thing I wanted to find is, what is the result that I am giving to the people coming to the course?
For example, in the course I created, Idea To Profit, the very thing that I’m teaching people was, “Hey, here’s how you come up with … I want to teach you how to come up with an idea, and I’m going to teach you how to make your first sale with that idea, with your side hustle idea.
I’m going to help you find your side hustle idea and make your first sale.” That is exactly what I teach in that course. The result was very specific, and that’s what I taught.
Now, if I would have just gone around and turned around and said, “Well, my course just teaches you how to start a side hustle.” That’s not specific enough. That’s very general in nature. I mean it’s just giving you this broad, “Hey, you start a side hustle.”
Okay, but how? What? What am I going to get? By the end of this course, what am I going to get? You’re going to have a side hustle and make your first sale. That’s what I’m teaching people, so that is number four, deliver a specific result.
Tip #5 Offer Multiple Types of Content
Okay, number five, offer multiple types of content. I would think for most people who are creating courses, that people wouldn’t automatically think, Look, if I’m creating a course…
- There’s got to be video.
- There’s going to be text.
- There’s going to be PDFs.
- There’s going to be audio
But you would be surprised in how many courses I’ve been in, and maybe you might have not thought about this as well, the types of content that most people just don’t offer.
I’ve been in courses already where they’ve only offered a text version. That’s all you got, was basically blog posts for your lessons.
Those courses I’ve been have been complete letdowns because I feel like they’re missing the opportunities so much. When you think about it, most people consume content in various different ways. I mean think about it. What way do you like to consume content? Is it through video, audio, or text?
I guess what I’m saying is, we all like to consume content in our own way.
If you don’t offer the right way, it’s going to be a total turn-off for some people because they’re going to come in, and they’re going to think, “Man, I’m really expecting this great course, and I like to consume video, but when I get there, it’s just a bunch of blog posts,” right?
That’s not going to be really good, is it? What you need to do is, you need to have video. You need to have audio. You need to have content. You need to have all three of these areas.
- What I’m talking about is text. Maybe you’re going to offer PDFs and some text in each lesson.
- Audio, maybe you’re going to have an audio, downloadable audio file of the content that you got there.
- Then also, you’re going to have a video. Maybe you’re going to have a video as well.
I definitely recommend having video, for sure, in your course because it’s going to help give a visual reference that people really look for when they have a course.
Audio, I think, is great, especially for people who don’t have a lot of time. They can download the audio, and they can take it with them.
They can listen to it in their cars, so they’re still consuming your content even though they’re not logged into the course or anything like that.
Then, text, make sure they got downloadable PDFs for sure because those are going to be great for people to take notes on and interact in your course in another way.
That’s also going to be another great way, so definitely offer multiple types of content in your course.
Tip #6 Make Your Lessons Simple and Easy to Apply
Okay, next, make your lessons simple and easy to apply. I always find that this is one that a lot of people just miss, big time when they’re creating a course.
I can remember a course we were recently talking about, someone who is doing yoga. It wasn’t a specific course, but it was a challenge. They were doing a yoga challenge, and what was interesting about this challenge is, she had a bunch of people signup, and it was great.
She was excited, and then, she did the challenge. By the end of the challenge, a lot of people had already dropped off. After they went back and looked at it, we figured out that her challenge was way too tough.
She was teaching advanced stuff to beginner people, and the people that were coming into the challenge were just blown away and didn’t know how to do a lot of that stuff and found it hard, so they quite and tried to do something else.
What you want to do instead is, you want to focus on applying simple lessons, easy-to-apply tactics that people can apply really quick.
For example, let’s say you’re going to teach somebody how to throw darts, as an example. Well, you wouldn’t just say, “Hey, pick up a dart and throw it.”
No. You would teach them, “Look, here’s how you hold the dart. Here’s how you position a dart. Here’s how you aim the dart.” You break that entire process down into very, very finite steps.
What I find a lot of people do is, well, let’s just create a 60-minute video and just teach them blah, blah, blah, blah. That is just way too much content in one time.
That’s like trying to drink from a fire hose. You don’t want to give people a fire hose. You want to give them finite, simple steps to follow. You want to break it down to very small simple and easy to apply steps. Then, let them follow through.
Again, I’m going to use this course, Drop Ship Lifestyle. That course does this amazingly well before the course even starts, they break down fundamentals that you need to understand before you can even start a drop-ship business. They’re no sitting there, saying, “Hey, start up a Shopify site and start throwing products on there.”
They’re talking about, “Hey, you have to understand why we recommend picking the type of product that you’re going to pick and why this model works better versus over other models,” and they give a lot of fundamentals to people before they get started.
That way, they’re not just shoving a fire hose down your throat and saying, “Drink.” That is my sixth tip, is to make sure your lessons are simple and easy to apply.
Tip #7 Give Them Something Extra
Okay, finally, the last actionable tip that you need to think about as you’re creating your course. Maybe it’s your first course or your second course or whatever, how many courses you’ve created.
Make sure you give them something extra. There’s something to be said when you give people a bonus in a course. A bonus is a great way to entice people to get a part of your course.
A good example of this was a course I joined a few years back. It was about email marketing. One of the things they added as an extra was, all these bonus email templates that I could download and use.
That, itself, was worth probably more than just the course. That helped me like, “Hey, I could just take these files. I could download them.
I could take them. I could customize them to my look and feel, and I could start sending them out to my audience automatically.” That, in itself, would be huge and valuable.
Chris Holdheide: Now, the course, obviously, had a ton of value in it, but having the templates just knocked it over the top, and that’s what you need to do for the people joining your course.
You need to knock it out of the park, hit that grand slam, give them something that really entices them to be in the course.
Think about things that you could give them extra. Maybe it’s a downloadable email template or a template that you could give them.
Maybe it’s an extra audio file or a video, something like that, just something extra that people could consume and get huge value out of, that they were not expecting to get from the beginning.
Also, bonuses are really good when you’re selling your course. These are things you can hold up to them, against them when you’re trying to sell your course, and use it as a way to get people to buy and then basically say, “Hey, look. After this promotion ends, I’m taking this extra bonus away.”
That will entice people to buy instead of getting them to fight over price because I don’t believe in doing discounts and stuff like that on my courses because you shouldn’t discount the value you’re giving people because the value you give should be in the content you give them. That is my seven actionable tips for making a good online course.
If you’d like to learn more about how to get started with your own side hustle, you can check out sidehustleacademy.com, and you can get my free guide, 3 Steps to Find and Validate Profitable Side Hustle Ideas.
This is my free guide I give out that helps people get this going and started. Also, if you want to get more great content like this, go ahead and subscribe to my YouTube channel, and you will get weekly content that comes out on a regular basis that I am putting out on a regular basis, teaching people how to get started and run their side businesses.
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