How many people ask you questions or advice about your areas of expertise, your hobbies, or your passions? Depending on your network, this may only be a handful of people a month, or it might be several people a week. Either way, you should probably consider creating an online course or micro-course.
Before I list out the reasons why you should curate your content online, let me answer some FAQs about online courses in general.
What information can you share in an online course?
If you have any specific area of knowledge, tips, or skills you can share with others – you can probably provide an online version to offer your network or anyone else who might stumble upon your content. So, basically, you can share whatever information you have. It’s important to note that you do NOT have to be an expert. Even beginners can have success in creating content because it helps other beginners!
What format should the content take?
Your online course content can be packaged in almost any format. At the most basic level, your course lessons can be all text & a few graphics. Videos take a little more work, but you only need a relatively small investment to get started. Some people focus on screencasts (recording your computer monitor) to create videos. Other basic formats include audio files and PDFs as resources in your course. If you want to get serious about e-learning and provide a more engaging experience for the people that take your course, you may want to consider learning to use software like Articulate Storyline, H5P, or Adobe Captivate.
Now, let’s get to the main question.
Why should you create a course or micro-course?
1. To let people know what you do
Regardless of who your target audience is, you can leverage the internet to increase your reach far beyond the potential of your local marketing efforts. This applies to both physical products and services. But let’s say you provide a service that is local, so you might feel that reaching outside of that market is useless. That’s not necessarily true. Most local businesses can provide valuable information to anyone online even though those people may not be able to visit your business or engage with you locally. If you eventually create a digital product, they may become your customers.
2. To give the people what they want.
For the people in your existing network – there is HUGE value for them to have access to the information you create. Why?
Because they already know you and trust you. So, any content that you provide will be much more valuable to them than the results they get from a Google search.
If you are looking to promote yourself or your business, a micro-course can be a lot more effective than plain old advertisement. Online advertisements are frequently annoying and have limited exposure. But if you are providing value in the form of a course, you have the freedom to make your content as extensive and informative as you want. You can focus on your target audience and make your content relevant and valuable accordingly.Remember – the key is to give people real value. Your content should solve very specific real-world problems. You know your industry better than they do. Use your experience and expertise to create solutions to common problems. If you do that, you’ll reap the rewards – which leads me to my next reason to create content.
3. To increase your income
At a bare minimum, if you’ve been in business for any significant amount of time, you can start selling courses to your current customer base. Let’s look at some examples:
- Perhaps you’re an expert in health and fitness (or any other field) and you want to provide some “tips & tricks” in an online course or break those down into several online micro-courses.
- Let’s say you’re a sports coach and you already give lessons in-person. Why not offer an online course with exercises that your students should be doing OUTSIDE of your lessons?
- Maybe you’ve got a talent for cooking, or you have a handful of really good recipes. If someone asks you for the recipe, you give them the text version, but you can also offer an online video for a premium.
If you’re starting out – you could share a few videos or micro-courses for free, and then start introducing some premium ones later.Here’s two (2) reasons you should start doing this NOW:
1. As you start creating content – you’re bound to get feedback on what OTHER content people want to buy. So, over time your content offerings improve and your sales conversion goes up.
2. The money you generate becomes “passive” – which means that you only made the effort to create the content ONCE, and it generates money indefinitely without you needing to invest any extra effort.
Hopefully, this article will motivate you to give online course creation a second thought. Don’t be intimidated by the Internet. Instead, seek assistance and work towards building an online “learning” presence.