As an entrepreneur, one of the best passive money-making options is to build an online course that you can sell to potential clients. The best thing about creating a course of your own is that you can create it once and then resell it over and over again. Yes, this is great for your bottom line, but furthermore, it is also a great way to establish yourself further as an expert in your field!
One mistake that many entrepreneurs make when creating their first course is that they believe that they need a finished product before they go to market. While it makes sense to do this on paper, in reality, you don’t want to waste time and energy on something that won’t get a lot of traction. Imagine spending hours of your time creating a product that no one has proved they want. That’s a huge gamble to make, which is why we’re here to make sure you don’t do that!
Instead, you want to prove that there is an audience that’s already looking for your online course first, and then build the course from there based on your validation. Fortunately, you don’t have to try and figure that out for yourself. We’re here to help you ensure that your course has a high demand.
1. Search Engine Market Research
You may already have an idea of what you want to teach in your online course, but first, you need to validate that people want to know more about your topic. If no one is interested in learning the elements covered in the course, then you’ll have a challenging time when it comes to selling your course. It is a considerable risk to go forward with developing any product without proof that your target audience is interested in your offer.
Sites like Quora, Buzzsumo, and Reddit are excellent places to do market research on your topic to discover the questions your potential students are asking.
Create a list of questions based on your course’s niche and start searching. How would people in your niche search for answers in Google? You can also type these queries into search engines to see what pops up. If you find that the information you’re covering is abundant already, consider what makes your course unique and valuable.
2. Amazon Market Research
With so many books out there on virtually every topic, users have plenty of options available. However, this also means that you have plentiful resources to spy on your competitors and find inspiration for your course but not copy. Pay attention to details like:
Table of Contents - see what the book covers exactly and how it moves from one point to the next.
Reviews/Comments - Amazon can offer a wealth of insight into what actual readers liked and disliked about a particular book. This can show you where the gaps lie to ensure you meet the needs of your audience. Pay close attention to the three-star reviews, as they will offer better details regarding what worked and what didn’
3. Social Media Market Research
Thankfully, social platforms have blown up so much that it’s easy to feel the pulse of your target demographics. If you’re not currently active in groups or networks related to your topic, now is the perfect time to dive in.
Pay attention to the platforms where your key audience is “hanging out.” Stats show that half as many adults use Instagram as Facebook, so it would probably be smarter to focus on Facebook. Join and post in groups related to your topic. Many social media platforms also offer actual survey posting options, which are perfect for collecting data.
While on social media, you can see what users are saying about your topic, and you can talk to them directly. Here is where you can gauge interest and see which elements of your course are in high demand and which ones may fall flat. The feedback you receive may surprise you!
4. Ask Your Email List What They’d Like
Ideally, you should already have a list of subscribers - if not, start building one with landing pages and SEO marketing. This can be as simple as offering an opt-in for free material (such as one lesson of your course) in exchange for their email. From there, you can email them every day to grow their excitement and anticipation for the official launch! Fortunately, you can use your course-to-be as a capture tool to engage a broader audience.
Once you have an email list, you can start asking them about what course materials they want the most. Getting feedback here is crucial because these are the individuals that are most likely to buy. If they’re already provided feedback, they will probably be interested in your course once it’s ready. This insight is highly valuable.
5. Presell Your Course
The best way to make sure that your product will sell is to start asking people to buy it. Even though you don’t have a complete course to offer right now, you can deliver enough information to get people interested or at least to prove that they are. Here are a few tips to pre-selling a course that you’re still developing.
Create an Outline - chances are that you have an idea of what your course will cover. Use this as a template to create something tangible for your audience. Since you already know what they will learn, you can draft a pitch, as well as a price point based on value.
Build 25 Percent - you want to capitalize on your audience’s interest immediately, so you need to start with something. You don’t have to have a completed course yet, but you should have at least one or two pieces ready to go immediately. (For example, if you’re building an eight-week online course, you should have the first and second weeks complete.)
Test Your Promotional Materials - start small and then create a marketing campaign based on the initial responses. Reach out to your subscriber list and include a “Buy Now” button to see who will bite. Genuine interest is validated by how willing someone is to open their wallets for your course. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Bottom Line: Do Your Research
Following these steps can save you a lot of time, energy, and resources. Doing the research and building demand will give you the confidence to launch your new course and make it happen.
Want us to help you build an online course you can be proud of? Book a free course strategy call to create your new course in 8-weeks.