27 Things to Know before Selling Online Courses
Many experts and domain knowledge folks like you who are comfortable teaching students.
People who have that flair of explaining the complex concepts in an easy way are now looking to leverage their skills and expertise to earn full-time income or even double or triple by training students Online.
Are You the Same Person?
Who is an expert in any technical field or have an advanced knowledge in on-demand training courses such as IoT [Internet of Things], Digital Marketing, Data Sciences, Big Data etc.?
Are you a trainer who deliver courses in a classroom set up and looking for better income levels but struck with how to start?
You are on right page!!
This is for you [exclusive]!
Leverage your expertise by training students online…
“To all Experts come Online and sell Your Knowledge” [Take the freedom you desire and take the control of what you want to do in life with passive income]
Today, I’m going to show you some really important things you need to know before you get started with Online Training Business, the most effective strategies step by step, skills and resources to help you with.
If you follow these tips you’ll save a lot of time and energy.
Are You with Me?
Let’s jump into what all the things I got for you Today.
The Best Business to start today is Online Training Business [Selling your skills/expertise online via video classes]
Online Training Business provides the exponential money making opportunities.
Here are Interesting Facts:
Change in Consumption: Users are comfortable and willing to spend time and money to learn via online.
Content: Video Content which is available for end users on demand anytime, anywhere, at the comfort of home on a couch at their own pace for lifetime.
Platform: It is easy to setup, maintain and manage using a teaching platform where you can share your knowledge online [check Teachable platform which helps trainers to host video content and distribute to students]
Work once done its done forever: Unlike the Offline classroom setup, online trainers deliver content one time and the same can be viewed by students at any point of time at any given day which is not possible offline. Non-Repetitive in nature which will give online trainer more time to focus on business promotion and get more customers.
Scalable Business: For the Trainers, the software tools or teaching platform such as Teachable is a boon to newbie online trainer with its easy to use dashboard and content distribution schedule.
The good thing is it will give great insights and analysis of the student activities and at the same time an interactive commenting platform to clear some doubts with which a single trainer can handle a large group of students which is not possible offline.
Marketplaces for Your Support: If you want to avoid the initial cost and want to valid your marketing potential use Udemy and YouTube platforms to sell your online courses.
Online Business skills such as digital marketing, email marketing [promoting your services and automating lesson reminders over email] are made easy with some powerful tools which are available for free or at minimum cost. Experts now are comfortable learning these skills and implementing them to grow their business online.
What is the one thing that you must possess to be a winner in Online Training Business?
You should be an expert, have domain knowledge and most importantly comfortable teaching students. Passion and mindset of sharing knowledge, explaining the complex concepts in an easy way to a beginner.
You have to leverage the skills and expertise to earn full-time income or even double or triple by training students Online.
You should find people who are beginners or a step or two below your expert level.
You should Focus on Developing Online Business skills such as digital marketing, email marketing, video creations etc. So, you should be comfortable learning these skills and implementing them to grow your online training business.
Before dreaming of earning money by selling online courses
Prepare to Overcome the Big Hurdle First
The Investment and cost to start an Online Business [Training]
Let’s look into the kind of investments you need to start an online training business.
6) Your living room as studio
7) Others [email marketing, hosting, website etc.]
8) Teachable Platform
Total cost will be around Rs.1.5 lakhs.
This is a huge ask on your part considering other online businesses which can be set up in less than Rs.5000 [the one I am referring is blogging business]
But the reality is if you want to leverage exponential income growth you need to have your own products such as (digital services, videos, books etc) otherwise you need to stick to very low-income revenue options such as Google Ad sense, Affiliate programs [some people earn good money online] etc.
This is not to scare you but if you are looking to make a brand for yourself and want to earn money online that make you money more than what you earn by doing a 9-5 job. [Or even want to make money while you are asleep or on a vacation] you must invest in yourself and equip with all these tools and infra.
Still worried about the cost and success of your online business venture after you commit to putting extra hours and all your savings.
I have covered you…. [Read the quick tip below]
Best practice if you are thinking of initial expenses is to start a blog give away free content and establish yourself as an expert and build your brand and email list working for 3 months and do some YouTube videos with your iPhone or cam.
If you do not have a Cam or iPhone.
You can borrow from a friend for some time and start creating training videos.
By the way, did I tell you this is the best way to validate your idea and build loyal customers and along the way fine tune all the internet business skills such as a digital marketing, email and content marketing?
Head over to blogging as a profitable business idea where I covered how you can start a blog business and then focus on online training once you have a steady income and good following and real people to buy your stuff.
Other ways of avoiding initial investment cost fear:
- Sell your courses online using marketplaces such as Udemy.
- Create a YouTube channel and upload videos with a brief overview of very useful tips and in-depth knowledge of the content you just prepared.
- A smartphone with some good lighting in your living room will be more than enough to come up with neat and clean videos.
This helps you in 3 big ways to move forward:
- You will understand how many people will see your content on YouTube and will have some good feedback as comments in the YouTube channel. [Do not worry if you see very fewer views on your videos. After all, you should promote your YouTube videos and that’s a different topic altogether]
- The 10 to 20 videos (5 to 10 minutes of video length) will also be used while you create a free course to attract more people and can be used in the Teachable platform that I just spoke earlier on this page to start.
By the way:
Teachable offers to use their platform for Free if you are creating Free Online Courses for Your Users which is otherwise come up with premium [Rs.2500 per month.]
- You can revise and check your Online Teaching and presentation style and also the documents that you create will be handy for your future courses.
Once you are confident and have all the content you can invest the money for equipment to make more professional videos that can be used to create your premium courses for students.
A Free landing page [WordPress website], WordPress LMS (Learning Management System) plug-in, free email marketing tool and a payment collection tool (Instamojo) will help you start Online Training Business with minimum investment.
Know more about how you can avoid initial investment in detail by clicking on below link.
See my other post on IOT online Training: How to get started with a minimum investment of Rs.20000:
[In this post I prepared a checklist and best way to start your online business under Rs.20000 and validate your online business in 3 months]
This is going to be more interesting and helpful if you are starting or just started your Online Business and Do Not Know What to Do Next.
The 29 Things that You need to Know before you start a Successful Online Training Business
#1 Know yourself [skills/tools/resources]
What type of person you are and what skills, resources you have to build an online business, any commitments such as family, full-time job etc.
Online Business Success always starts with ‘YOU’
So, it is very important to know more about you before you want to know about your customers, market and product/service offerings.
And it’s ‘YOU’ one and only ‘YOU’ who will Break or Make Your Online Business.
So Ask Yourself:
Who am I?
- Your Purpose of Starting up Online Business
- Your Status of Skills, Knowledge, Expertise, and Resources
- Do You have a very clear Frame of Mind
- You have put some time to Know Yourself Better [Take actions, consistency, and commitment]
- Time, Money and Support you have from family.
Be honest and take a notebook and write down what are the skills you want to learn, improve and master, what are your weaknesses, strengths, does coding hurts you, you are not a designer material, copywriting is not your piece of cake etc.
You have a full-time job, a young family and other responsibilities. Do all these stop you from what you want to achieve in the first place?
Can you put extra 3 hrs time daily to work for your online business?
If you cannot see results in 2 months time will you keep the same energy and passion and learn and implement things fast.
Will you give yourself a solid 6 months to one year time before giving up your dream?
For further information and want to Know More about Yourself Better check my detail post over here…
You are committed and want to move forward.
If you are not aware of the Skills that you have to accomplish during the course of your online business journey.
Here are the pointers and skills you absolutely should have or learn on the go when you start an Online Business in 2018.
#2 Skills you must develop over the course of Time
- WordPress [will help you have a wonderful website/blog to let know your target audience about your service offerings and get some quality leads]
- Design skills using tools [designing social posts and website images and blog images for promoting your online courses over social channels]
- Research and reading skills [will update you with latest trends, tools, resources, and info that your readers will love you and pay for your premium products]
- Email Marketing (automation tools) [Will help you in creating your own email list that can connect directly with your readers. You will understand how powerful this skill to increase your business over here…]
- Content writing and copywriting [this is where you tell the readers hey you have this pain points and I have all the answers to your problems]
- Promotions skills on social media [this is how you find the people who like what you teach and they notice you and accept you as an expert]
As discussed earlier you have to have flair for teaching and explain the complex topics in an easy way to users who are beginners or not experts and have zero knowledge of the subject.
Do not worry “Rome was not built in a day”. You will definitely master all these skills over the course of time to run the business.
If you feel all this information is too much [yes it is and you do not panic if you are an action taker and serious guy looking for extra income online. Simply because you will find solutions and eventually reach your target of making money online]
Can you tell me a simple way to start the online training Business?
I have you covered:
- Register a domain name on GoDaddy [Rs.670 approx per year]
- Get a Hosting from Godaddy [Managed WordPress Hosting Rs.1800 approx per year]
- Build a one-page landing page about your services [Free WordPress theme]
- Pick an iPhone or any other smartphone and start shooting videos [I bet you are an expert and know what to teach to your students] and upload the recorded videos on Youtube.
- Use same recorded videos and post on Teachable for free [get enquires and student enrollment from the setup website(one-page landing page)
- You can also make Facebook live videos and post on your business Facebook page [create a separate Facebook business page and I do not tell how to do. Facebook pretty much made it simple and easy read on their support pages all about making live videos]
Once you are confident Come back and read this blog post and grow your Online Business exponentially.
Meanwhile, if you feel reading continue. [Am I charging anything for reading 🙂
#3 Find a niche or a problem/pain points/topic:
You must be wondering why I need to select a Niche topic or a problem. Am I not allowed to start preparing or teaching students/users what I know and what I am good at?
It does not work that way online.
People come online and search and pay for their very specific problem.
So, segregate and prepare online course very specific to user problems.
The best way is to start with complex topics and topics that people have the problem to understand.
Also, choose topics that are in demand. (demand topics always help students to find jobs or better career or help in their career advancements)
#4 Market Research
You have found a great Niche Topic. Will this help me to make money online?
The real question is how big or profitable your selected Niche Topic is?
How can you find if your selected Niche topic is a profitable one or not?
You can check by these following ways:
- Google Search [check if anyone paying for Google ads on your selected topic keywords]
- Udemy and LinkedIn Search [does Udemy and LinkedIn have course and videos related to your selected topic]
- Quora Search [Are there lot of questions asked on your topic]
- Search on SimilarWeb [similarweb.com will give you hint of competitors, similar websites]
- Competitors [having competitors is good for online business and you already have a proof that there is a market and demand for your services. So go ahead and try to maximize your share of the market by providing great value to your customers/students]
You do not want to be disruptive, innovative, nor need to discover or invent something.
Be Different, tell in your own words, and produce content in simple and easy to understand for users. Always add value to your customers.
Simplify and solve the one problem and make your users comfortable…
Also, check the classroom type institutions in your area and their most popular courses.
Check video views on YouTube for your topic [after all YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google]
Check if UDEMY and Urbanpro, UpGrad has a good number of Trainers, and courses and check how much they are charging and what is the demand.
Check if any webinar, podcasts, and courses available for your chosen topic.
Check Google Trends
Check Hashtags [both Instagram and Twitter]
Check Pinterest Pins on the topic you selected.
If you find more people asking questions, more trainers and see good competition [competition is good for online entrepreneurs as this validates that there is a good market for your products].
You have found a great Niche and Market and thus you are good to make Money Online.
#5 Idea validation [Your Teaching style and demand for your paid services]
You have found there is a good market for your chosen topics for online course creation.
Talk to friends, create a Facebook group and Youtube Videos with some demo classes and create a free course on Teachable.
We have found a way to validate your online business idea with Youtube and Teachable free platform. [So, go ahead and valid your online business this is the best way rather than asking friends and doing online surveys]
#6 setting up a website/Blog/Online Training Platform
Create a website or landing page [one-page website with all your course details]
Next, if you have some more time drive traffic by creating a bag full of useful content on Blog.
You create a website/blog [a place where you can show your informational products]
To start a website you require 3 basic things first:
- A domain name
- A Hosting Space or Server
- A Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress [to store the files which contains your information or data]
WordPress, Youtube, and Teachable understand and learn how to handle these platforms.
#7 Solutions to problems/digital services/courses
Pick the most difficult modules of your course and start creating sub-courses and offer them at a low price point.
Instead of giving complete modules in a single course segregate into sub-courses and topics and sell them at low price points so that your students will choose most basic or difficult ones first and start paying for other courses over time.
Let me tell you with an example:
If you consider Digital Marketing as one topic to train your students.
You have 6 to 8 major modules or subtopics in Digital Marketing such as SEO, SEM, SMM, Affiliate Marketing, Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, Content Marketing etc.
So divide each module and start with most difficult or on-demand one and deliver you online training services.
Note: It is always advisable not to charge Rs.50000 for a complete course. Instead, divide the complete course into 10 small courses and charge Rs.1000 to Rs.2000 per each course. So this way you will enroll more students and considering economies of scale you will earn more money by charging less price.
Bonus tip: give away huge discounts for early adopters and loyal customers and always add bonus lessons or bonus materials to attract initial customers.
#8 Create Content/Products/Digital Services
Now, you have decided to split the complete course into key important modules. You should start focusing on what to present to your audience first the basic courses or step by step courses or the most difficult courses as discussed above.
Good to start with a couple of basic modules and most difficult and on-demand topics would be great to start.
So, once this is sorted out prepare course content and updated context based examples that you would like to discuss in the course.
Always current topics and context-based examples will make you stand out as a trainer and students will be more loyal and feel happy about your teaching style.
Valuable and quality content that solves your user’s pain points is what makes your business successful.
Before creating content [always focus on the most important questions, problems and pain points of customers]
Check on Answerthepublic.com, buzzsumo.com and Quora.com and Google for questions of your customers for content inspiration.
Next, prepare a list of 50 complex topics from selected Niche with content you will share with your students.
And pick the topmost 20 topics and zero down on 10 topics and prepare evergreen and complex topics that users pay you immediately.
Also, do not forget to prepare email communications, content for email campaign, social channels.
Pro Tip: Pick top priority pain points and write as blog posts and share your knowledge for free and establish yourself as an expert.
#9 Investment and cost to start an Online Business [Online Training]
As discussed at the beginning of this post.
[I repeat one more time]
Following are the basic things you need to invest before you start an online training business.
6) Your living room as a studio
7) Others [email marketing, hosting, website etc.]
8) Teachable Platform
Total cost will be around Rs.1.5 lakhs.
#10 Email Marketing Setup
You know why most of the online business owners make money.
They are good at identifying people’s problems and pain points behind the problems.
They will not only identify the problems but also connect emotionally and personally to solve that one problem users/customers have.
So, what is the best way to connect personally and emotionally and deliver exceptional value to your users?
It is by having your own subscribed users who give permission to their email access.
So, your own earned email list is important for your success.
Build your own Email List immediately after you set up a blog or website using Email marketing tools such as Convertkit.
Remember most of the conversions (sales) happen on the list. Social media is only for awareness and education.
Focus on what to send in emails and understand your customer pain points and solve them with valuable content/services.
Before you set up email marketing you need to understand and prepare email communications and email content.
Know about the following things before you start thinking about email marketing.
- How to write a welcome email, and sequential emails to connect with users.
- How to collect email addresses of users.
- What value you should give away free over email [content upgrades]
Convertkit email marketing tool helps you do this. [This is altogether a different topic that I will cover in future posts]
Email marketing is core to your business and this is where you directly talk to customers to make the best use of it.
#11 Promotional channels [social channels/website/landing pages/platform]
One or two social channels will do. Understand and actively promote on social channels about your products, about your content, articles and value-added content and engage on social media. Do not think Facebook or Instagram as instant lead conversion channels. It takes time to build your brand awareness over social channels.
Social channels profile building [finds one or two and master them]
Build your social channels, use Facebook groups, Quora and Twitter for your Content promotions.
Most of the top online money making professionals spend 40% of time in creating the content and 60% time in promoting their work.
#12 Research/Read/ read a lot
At this point in time, you must read and read a lot about your industry news, advancements, info and facts and also update yourself with content marketing, email marketing, and Facebook or any other social channels info regularly.
Find my list of resources and blogs for Inspiration from my Free Resource Page here…
Quick tip: people are finding great info and latest updates on blogs, social channels and on Quora etc. as businesses are giving more value-added content for free.
**Also not to forget that your very active users not only consume content from you but also from various other good sources.
So, be up to date and give away quality and useful content for free before someone gives them.
#13 Content development
You should always plan your 3 months content way ahead and modify and publish consistently on blog, emails, and Facebook or Quora groups…
Apart from what you teach [online course material content] you should also take care of content on following distribution channels that you create for yourself to get more traffic and leads and subscribers to your paid courses.
- Website/ landing page content
- Social channels content
- Quora and other distribution channels
- Email content (what you send to enrolled and subscribed (for free course) students to convert and buy your paid courses)
#14 Promote and promote big time [60% spend time on promoting your content]
Use Google ads or Facebook ads or any other social promotion channels paid ads ‘combination of organic, free traffic and paid traffic will do wonders for you’.
This is an optional step if you have money to invest in paid ads. Always try to learn and do ad campaigns [Facebook and Google] yourself to save money and in long run, it will help you to scale your business.
ProTip: Google will provide a specialist consultant to assist you to successfully run Google Ad campaigns for 90 days. Facebook also have such an option. So, take the help and learn with the help of experts.
#15 Writing marketing communications
Creating Whatsapp messages, email communications is an art and always give your subscribed list very valuable content other than you provide on course or blog. They subscribed for a reason and that is simply they want more content from you as they like your content and believe in you and follow you.
So email list [your own list] is powerful that no other person or business has control. Online Business Experts who make 6 figures income suggest building an email list from day one.
#16 Know WordPress coding and How to set up a Professional website/blog.
A professional website/blog and landing page describing your informational products are what attracts first-time users.
So, along with content [web copy or blog posts], you must also focus on creating a user-friendly neat and clean website.
Consider loading speed, design, and sleek theme.
A bit of WordPress coding and optimizing for Google is what you require to work on after you being clear on the type of Online courses to sell for users.
Note: WordPress is simple and easy to set up and manage even if you are technically challenged.
#17 Buy a domain name and host space
[Invest in self-hosted and professional services such as BlueHost or Siteground that make you look professional]
To Know more check Basic things required to set up a blog/website for beginners.
#18 Master SEO [Search Engine Optimization]
Align with Google which is to align with users. Speed/UI/UX, value, and related content.
Write, Design and Optimize for people, create products/services for people and produce great valuable content for people.
If we do this we are doing SEO the right way and never forget the main intention or core Business value or purpose of the Google is to suggest great valuable information/products/services for people.
What do you think about SEO? [This is what most of the Freelancers’ and Online Business enthusiasts feel about SEO] [link to quora anaswer]
After all, as an Online Business Solopreneuer we have many hats to wear on and the One every online entrepreneur want to master is SEO and it’s absolutely fine as long as we write/produce quality and valuable content to users]
#19 Use Quora, Facebook groups, and other content distribution platforms to drive more Traffic for Free.
Quora, Facebook Groups, Guest Blogging and Contributing on Discussion Forums will help you to drive free traffic to your informational products.
Use your blog posts and twist an answer to specific related questions.
ProTip: every blog post you write you also write an answer to similar questions on Quora with the blog post you wrote. It won’t take more time only 30 minutes every day will do wonders and bring you free traffic.]
If you are consistent on Quora or any other discussion forum or blog [writing useful information related to your Niche] will help you in long term.
#20 Improve Copywriting skills to get the nod of users
Reading blogs of influencers such as Neil Patel, Backlinko, Harsh Agarwal, CopyBlogger and the top magazines and newspapers will teach you about copywriting. Observing all Facebook ads, Instagram and newsletters and landing page of top bloggers that you come across when you browse or on your Facebook feed should give you a good idea of how to write a great copy.
Quick Tip: for 1 month just collect all the Facebook, Instagram ads, and newsletters from top companies and top online business persons or analyze and understand from your influencers check their emails, how they promote, how they write ad copy. [You must subscribe to an email list of influencers, other online business folks, related to your industry and competitors to get most out of them]
Now, sit and analyze all the ad copies, emails, and landing pages or even the good websites you browse. [This should make you create good copy for all your needs on the online business]
#21 Design Marketing and Social Post materials
Canva will do a lot good for you. Did I tell it is absolutely free and provide you tons of inspirations?
Just twist the copywriting all you learned from above steps in a couple of minutes and you have all social post designs in minutes.
Following are few of the designs I made using Canva tool.
#22 Tools required to automate your business
Some of the Tools That will help You:
SEO [SEMRush, aHref, Google Analytics etc]
Collaboration [Slack, Evernote, Google Drive]
Email Marketing [Convertkit and Mailchimp]
Social Media Marketing [Hootsuite, Buffer, and Social Poilet]
Design Tools [Canva and Crello]
You can find more tools over here [choose the one that best fits you]
#23 Promote services and products
Some of the Promoting strategies only for You…
Join Facebook Groups
Interact with students on Social Platforms
Use facebook paid services
Create Quora and Pinterest Profiles and drive traffic by answering user questions and creating useful Infographics.
*Use Forums and Groups if you are in Tech Niche
#24 Give away free courses to get the trust of your readers
Create Free email courses, Free Course Videos on Youtube, Udemy and Teachable platforms.
You can use convertkit for creating free email courses. Know how I have created one free email course by Signing up for my free email course here…
#25 Launch more products /more valuable content/recommend more valuable resources or tools
#26 Revenue generation options
Some of the Revenue options that you have as an online course creator are;
Selling ebooks on your platform (website) or Amazon. [You can create print version of your online courses and sell online]
Selling your courses on Udemy.
Affiliate income by promoting other people products or services on your blog.
Youtube income [you can monetize your youtube channel in future if you wish to]
You can make money by Guest Blogging and by sharing your ideas as a keynote speaker. [once you are established as an expert in your selected niche category]
#27 Some of the support work and engagement tips you will find helpful…
Conduct weekly Q&A Sessions.
Engage with users on Facebook Group [Create a Facebook group before you start the online business and you can really engage users with your Free courses on Teachable that we talked at the beginning of this post]
Explain the critical concepts in an easy and simple way by giving real-time context-based examples. [This should be done in your Free course as well]
Provide 10X value as well so that your initial or early adopters will become your ambassadors and promote your brand [in business terms brand value and WOM are the two critical achievements that every business should attain to minimize the marketing budget.
Your loyal fans will not only promote but also be a support system, be a customer support, they will also be a repetitive retained customer who will buy your next paid all courses]
Have Quality customers 100 over 10k
Premium and retain customer > Retention customer>quality customer>customer who look for only freebies (your free courses, blog posts, and email content)
Some Ideas for creating own products [courses, eBooks, premium memberships, webinars and premium newsletter or video class services.
All this Online Business kind of thing is overwhelming and yes it is for anyone when starting an Online Business. You’ve got a lot of decisions to make and hell lot things to work on but don’t worry you will only be working on 5 major tasks once everything is set up.
Setting up an Online Business and Believing in Yourself that You can make Big with the Online Training Business starts truly after 2 months of smart and consistent work.
So, be confident and persistent.
Be Focused and Take Actions…
5 Major Things You will be working on Once Your Online Business is set up and running.
- Content Development/ Products/Courses
- Traffic Generation [free, earned and paid]
- Monetization (making money from your paid courses)
- Optimization and Automation with Scaling in Your Products in Mind
- Track, Analyze and Monitor all your efforts using powerful tools available now for online entrepreneurs
What else do you need to know to start an Online Training Business?
I’d really like to know what you guys think about starting an Online Business and particularly Online Training. Do you think there will be any big changes? Do you see yourself come across this overwhelming list of things to do? Do you disagree with any of the points I’ve made above?
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