There’s no denying it. The online learning industry, or e-learning as you will, is getting bigger and bigger every year. There are even talks that it will earn as much as $240 billion by 2023 which is just half a decade from now.
As such, it goes without saying that you want to become part of this sector and venture with your own portfolio of online courses. Of course, you might have concerns regarding the selling of your first course. To answer those, here are a few facts that you need to be aware of.
Lesson #1: It’s No Big Deal if Someone Beats You to It
This might be counterproductive to the whole “stand out from the competition” mentality but look at it this way:
If you have come up with an idea that has never been done before, that can only mean one thing which is that there is still no market for it. Also, you have to understand that the Internet is a large place that new original ideas are hard to come by these days.
So, if you suddenly find out that there is an online course similar to what you have right now, don’t worry. This only means that that there is a need for solutions regarding the problem you are tackling with your online course. The only you have to do is to make sure that the solutions you offer is innovative enough for people to actually pay to learn it.
Lesson #2: People Actually Like to Pay for Courses; Even if they can Find the Information for Free
Let’s get this out of the way. Whatever solution you are offering right now is actually found somewhere in the Internet and can be learned for absolutely free of charge. However, it cannot be denied that that information still has to be located and, once located, has to be verified whether or not it is legit. Aside from checking tis legitimacy, a person also has to check whether or not the information is up to date or, at the least, relevant in recent years.
Most people right now cannot commit to such a process because it takes time; time that they’d rather spend on doing something else. Instead, they would prefer have someone who can tell them that this solution to their problem is legit, relevant, and can be taught to them for a fee.
Lesson #3: Your Course Can be a Part of a Larger Business Model
A common mistake course creators make is to design their first course to be the be-all, end-all course that covers everything that that they know about a certain topic. What they are basically doing is putting all their eggs into one basket which limits their ability to sell their ideas and keep them fresh in the long run.
Since you are starting, it would be a good idea to divide your big course into smaller, bite-sized courses that follow a logical sequence. For example, you can first sell a course that covers the basics while the more advanced stuff are introduced at a later course. Not only will this allow you to release your courses at a faster rate, you can actually gauge customer reception and address concerns in that course while you are creating the subsequent modules. Also, this method will actually allow you to cover more subtopics in each module which results in an otherwise comprehensive learning experience.
Lesson #4: You Don’t Really Need to Become an “Expert”
When it comes to e-learning, there is actually a difference between being “credible” and being an “expert”. The latter is the more intensive one as you have to build up credentials and gain experience. The former is easier to achieve as you only need to be passionate in something. Since the other one takes time, it is best that you focus more on sounding “credible” i.e. expressing your thoughts in a way that makes you believable while also discovering new things for yourself.
Basically, you have to learn as you teach, absorbing the information as you design your course. Soon enough, you will build enough confidence to the point that you feel like you can create a course about almost everything. The key here is to be honest with your students as to why you are doing what you are doing.