Creating an online course can quite literally be a life changing experience for you. Working at Teachable I’ve had the incredible opportunity to see course launches that allowed the instructors to quit their jobs in favor of online entrepreneurship, and for others their courses fund vacations, their kid’s travel soccer league, or weekly date nights with their husbands.
But a lot of people tend to have a limiting mindset when it comes to online courses.
“Sure other people can launch a course and make tens and thousands of dollars, but never me.”
Well, my friends, that’s where you’re wrong. Anyone and everyone can launch a profitable and successful online course, it’s just a matter of moving past a few common misconceptions. Everyone has different fears holding them back, but I thought I’d address a few of the more common ones.
You have to be an “expert”
So many people are under the impression that they can’t create an online course because they aren’t an “expert” in their field.
They don’t take into account where they were when they started and how far they came. If you’re wanting to create an online course on a topic, chances are you are at least knowledgeable enough in the field that you’re ahead of a good chunk of beginners.
You don’t need to be the ultimate authority or know every inch of the broad theme of what you’re teaching inside and out. You just need to be a step or two ahead of your student base.
In fact, in many cases we’ve found that people who aren’t experts in their topic are actually better teachers. The people who were in the same spot their students are in now just a few months ago are better at recalling the specific pain points they had and how they overcame them.
You don’t have a large enough audience
It can be discouraging when all of your role models who are celebrating 6 figure launches also have audiences large enough to populate a small country and the mid-tier blogger is keeping quiet on their launch.
But take it from someone on the inside who gets to take a sneaky little peak at course launches from influencers small and large: you don’t need to have a massive audience to have a successful and profitable course.
I’ve seen influencers who I’ve never even heard of pull in tens of thousands of dollars on launches. Their audiences are small, but loyal.
Conservatively we say that around 2% of your email list will convert. So if you’re selling a $100 course and have a list of 1000 people you’ve already made $2000 right there. And of course we’ve seen launches with a significantly higher conversion rate, too.
Your audience can find what you’re teaching for free
Ok, so this one is true. Realistically in this day and age you can find and learn anything you want on the internet for free. BUT! What online courses do is create a shortcut to an outcome.
Sure. Your audience can spend months researching, sifting through information, and deciding which sources are credible and reliable versus which are not – but that takes time.
With your online course you are able to cut out the middle man and provide a shortcut to an outcome. You’ve done the research and sifting for them, and now you’re presenting the information in an easy to follow, informative manner that will get your students to a result far quicker than if they had done everything themselves.
No one will be interested in what you’re teaching
Every course has an audience if you know where to look. Maybe the general population isn’t interested in learning about horticulture, but there are thousands of plant enthusiasts that are. You just need to know how to find them.
Chances are, if you’re wanting to teach an online course on a given topic you are somewhat of an enthusiast. Think about the places you hang out online, and chances are you’ll find your target audience there.
Whether it’s a subreddit, forum, facebook group, or even a hashtag on Twitter you use go there and observe. See what questions people are having and figure out their pain points. Create a product upgrade that addresses the most common painpoint, and use emails you collect through that to market your related course.
If you try to sell to a general audience, say your Facebook friends, you might not have much success. The key is finding your target audience and selling to them.
You aren’t teaching a topic that will help people make money
Out of the misconceptions I hear, this is the one that is the hardest to address. People are more willing to spend money if that money is an investment that is going to help them make money – that’s true.
But that doesn’t mean that people won’t spend money if they aren’t going to make money.
Again, it’s all about finding your target audience and marketing your course to them. For example, one of our instructors at Teachable, Angela Fehr, teaches watercolor painting. Realistically very few people will ever make money watercolor painting yet she makes 8k a month selling her online courses.
I might sound like a broken record, but I’ll say it again: It’s all about finding and selling to your target audience and using benefit driven language.
Sure, watercolor might not make your rich, but you can market as something that will help you destress after work, or a way to express your creativity. A lot of people are looking for a creative outlet, and something that they can be great at – help them get there!
Want to create an online course?
At Teachable we are hosting our #CourseBizNow Accelerator this week into next and we would love for you to join us! We brought in 7 experts who have been incredibly successful in creating their own online courses and they are walking you through step by step. We are on day 2 now, but replays will be sent out so you can catch up!