Creative Business

June 24, 2020

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Your First Course

Whenever I chat with a fellow creative about online courses, there are a few big concerns that pop up over and over again. And I get it! I had a lot of those big concerns when I created my first online course, and then…I had a whole different set of concerns the more courses I created! The truth is, if you’re passionate about something, you’ll always be worried about doing it ‘right’ or to the best of your abilities. And you’ll always be on a quest to do it better, faster, and smarter.

In my quest to create a library of high quality courses (filmed from my home studio!), I have learned so much. I want to share those things with you so you can avoid making the same mistakes and hopefully have less worries as you focus on your best course!

No. 1: Reinventing the wheel

Everyone wants to be unique, and that is wonderful. Unique is a beautiful thing. But you don’t have to have a completely novel idea in order to create a beautiful, effective online course. I used to let the idea of ‘needing to be unique’ hold me back from pursuing a list of ideas I had in my back pocket. Don’t wait for that super unique idea to come along…pursue what you’re already excited about.

No. 2: Comparing Yourself To Another Creator

This one is so common, and I’m sad to say I still struggle with this from time to time. Especially when you’re working on your first class…don’t compare yourself to a seasoned pro! This is a lesson that applies to all areas of life and not just this specific situation. But, I know it’s easier said than done. Don’t compare! It will only hold you back.

No. 3: Holding back…because what will everyone else think?

Ah!!! This one. It’s tough. I have a lifelong history of worrying what others will think of me for chasing my biggest dreams. Teaching online was something I worried about for a long time, mostly because of being on camera. It felt self-indulgent…when, in reality, it’s just me…teaching. Don’t feel like you ever have to hide who you are, or that you shouldn’t put your full force into something because of what others will think. Just be you and those who want to learn from you will absolutely love you!

No. 4: Barely talking about my course(s)

Okay, okay, this is still a problem for me. What can I say? I don’t like to “annoy” people. But here’s the thing…it’s not annoying when you have something amazing to offer! Marketing our own products and services can be so difficult in the age of the algorithm. These days, you need to talk about your offers multiple times…a DAY…during launch week. After that, you need to create a system that allows you to remind your community about the resources they have at their disposal. This is a muscle that gets stronger with time but at first, I’ll admit…it’s definitely hard!

No. 5: Over-teaching

Believe it or not, you can teach something *so hard* that it becomes a jumbled, convoluted mess. I’ve been guilty of this in my early courses! The goal of your course should be to make the information as easy as possible for your student to digest. That doesn’t mean you need MORE words. That doesn’t mean you need BIGGER words. The simpler and the shorter you can make a lesson (without watering it down, of course), the better. Don’t over-teach!!

No. 6: Not bragging on my course enough. (Aka: share reviews and testimonials!)

Listen, if ya got the reviews to back it up, BRAG on yourself! A wonderful, non-spammy way to market your courses is to share the rave reviews and testimonials of past students. Let them do the talking for you. And, if you’re proud of what you created, others will see that and find the value in your course. It’s okay to brag at least a little 🙂

No. 7: Perfection Procrastination

I am the queen of letting my desire for perfection keep me from going after my dreams. My desire for that perfection can lead me to another huge problem: procrastination. When creating online courses, it’s so easy to procrastinate until you can afford that fancy camera or the better microphone. In reality, the phone you are probably reading this blog post on is all you need to film your first online course. Perfection doesn’t exist, so stop chasing it, and embrace what you have in front of you.

No. 8: Surprise Launching

I’ve done this before. And it was a huge failure! That doesn’t mean every “Surprise! I made this course for you and it’s out NOW!” will result in a disappointingly low number of sales, but that has proven true for me. Your community needs time to get warmed up to even the best courses and offers. Start talking about your course while you’re still writing the script. Heck, start talking about it before you’ve even written the script. And take your people along for the ride, so they can feel ready when the time comes to click ‘buy.’

Okay! Those are my Top 8 course mistakes. Are you guilty of these? Are you going to avoid these while working on your amazing course? I sure hope so.

And don’t forget you can download the Course Creation Cliff’s Notes right here and get on the waitlist for Crafting Online Courses!

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