My days are spent working with entrepreneurs who have been in their businesses for tens of years. Now, they want to take one step further and bring their business online. Is online course a good idea?! Let’s find out in this post on how to turn your 9 to 5 into an online course.
Through years, I have worked with clients that all have the same passion – they LOVE what they’re doing but they are hesitant about the future.
Decades ago, when they got into the business, things were different. And these days, life is so fast-paced that rarely anyone can really keep up with that.
And yet. The dream is still alive – to use the technologies of today to bring their knowledge online and help even more people.
Why should you choose online course creation?
Let’s say you’ve been running your own business for 10 or 20 years. You have tons of knowledge and expertise. You are skilled in what you do, your clients love you. You know there’s A LOT of potential.
But, in reality, you’d also love to have a chance to take a step back. Start living slower, take more vacations, spend more time with your family.
How to monetize your skills, earn passive income and have more free time?
With online courses!
Online courses are a THING these days. If several years ago this trend was just beginning to rise, now it’s here to stay, for sure.
Online courses are created by high-class professionals, as well as your neighbors. People use various online platforms to share their skills and reach an even bigger audience with what they know.
While in real-time you could help 3 people a day, online those can be thousands per week and more. The sky is the limit!
Here are just some of the benefits of creating an online course:
- You can share all your skills and knowledge
- You can earn consistent passive income, no matter where you’re at
- Your business can keep on going but you don’t have to focus on it so much
- You can reach a way bigger audience than you ever could without such courses
- It’s an efficient way to monetize your dream business and assure online income
Stories from long-term entrepreneurs
Here are just some of the stories from my recent clients who have turned their skills and experience into an online course (or several), creating a successful passive income business.
- Revi is a job-hunting expert with more than 18-year experience who turned her recruitment experience into an online course on How to Find a Job Like a Pro;
- Monica is a holistic health and lifestyle coach who has made the transition from her live presentations to online courses and live masterclasses;
- Wendi is an entrepreneur and speaker who took her career one step further with online courses like Positive Habits 101;
- Elly has turned her ex-career as a Private Investigator into course on How to Find Love.
As you see, all of these stories are different, yet they all have found a way to turn their skills into an online course and help even more people with what they know!
It’s definitely an encouragement for you to not give up and see how you can turn your 9 to 5 into an online course!
How to turn your 9 to 5 into an online course?
I have covered a full guide in the Course Creation guide.
STEP #1: Decide WHAT you want to help with
The first step is to make the decision about the final goal of the course: what do you want to help people with?
It’s especially hard if you have a lot of knowledge and your ideal audience covers many different people.
I always suggest focusing on where your heart lies in.
For example, recently my client Wendi was creating a new course. She’s a spiritual entrepreneur and her focus is inspiring others. But “inspiration” is such a wide topic to cover. And how could one even make a course about that, really…
So after some consideration, she came up with 4 more specific and actionable topics she’d love to start with. One of which is Positive Habits 101 that, obviously, help people to create more positive habits.
When making this kind of a decision, start with brainstorming and considering various paths.
STEP #2: Create the content outline
What will be the exact steps and tips you’ll offer in this course?
One of the most asked questions is “How long a lesson should be?” or “How many lessons will be ok?” so here’s my answer to that.
The length of the lesson doesn’t matter, as long as you’re providing value. I’ve seen successful courses with 2-3 paragraphs per lesson. But these paragraphs answered the exact questions students were seeking answers for.
Normally, it’s a video up to 5-10 mins and/or a readable material of around 2-3 pages. Once again, it’s just the average, not the only way to do things.
When it comes to the number of lessons, there’s a fine line between “enough” and “too much”.
Usually, I suggest creating several Modules, focusing on each specific feature of the topic. For example, 3-5 Modules, with 3-5 lessons within each.
When you realize that you might need tons more to cover all you want to share, it’s worth considering creating more courses instead of one.
A person’s attention span is rather short and that stats show that courses with more than 10 different Modules + many lessons within them rarely get finished.
You should focus on clear action, clear information. So your audience can actually get what they came for.
STEP #3: Write the content
Content really is the most important part of your course and if you have decided to turn your 9 to 5 into an online course – you better start writing!
Although the final outlet of your content can be any kind of media you’d prefer, for example, video or audio with presentations, as well as simple text, it’s important, in any case, to write it down.
For writing, I suggest using anything you prefer. I personally like Google Docs but you can use Word, Notepad or do it in Grammarly or Evernote.
Just make sure to always have the copy of the written content so in case any files get lost, you have a backup to use!
STEP #4: Design your course
The design is the most dreaded part for most online course creators, especially, starters.
If you have no knowledge of the design whatsoever, don’t get scared off.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you can always keep it extremely simple and use only the most basic design features.
When it comes to design, you should consider:
- What will be the main color scheme used?
- What kind of design elements will you use for your text material, for example, PDFs?
- Will you have presentations? And if so, how will you design them?
The less is more! Therefore, if you are in doubt, use black and white, and one other color of your preference. Don’t overthink it.
The best part: you can always come back to your course later on and redesign it. Or hire someone to do it for you.
At the end of the day, the design rarely matters. What really matters is the content! But the design should be visually appealing anyway.
STEP #5: Publish & start selling
The last but not least part is to actually publish the course and start selling it.
Course platforms like Teachable make the publishing part easy: you can upload all of your content into Lessons that are separated into Modules, and you have a great course structure ready for you.
Whether you’ve created readable material or videos, you have a chance to upload it all.
Teachable also provides you with a Payment getaway. Meaning, all of your payments are secured and you can get the payout from Teachable instead of dealing with each of your students.
For more on Teachable and this platform’s features, make sure to read the comparison of Teachable vs Thinkific.
The marketing is a whole another story though.
There are many different ways to successfully market and sell your online course and it’s a matter of you to decide which one will be the best fit.
Here are just some of the ideas:
- Sell through ads on Facebook
- Use platforms like Pinterest to promote
- Write a blog, grow your audience and sell through content marketing
- Do guest posts and share your course there
Marketing and the best selling methods definitely is a whole another topic to cover.
Here are some ideas for course launch strategies.
Online course creation really is a great way how to step out of your daily routine and create an effective online income source. But you can also consider other e-products if online courses do not feel like the best fit for you.