Hey friends! Today, I want to share with you 5 clear steps to creating your first online course!
I know that online teaching can be intimidating, and there are a ton of resources online to choose from! If you’re here, reading this, my goal is to make the steps as simple as can be…but I want you to know something: teaching is fun. It can be easy. but creating a quality online course is not done without good old hard work. That shouldn’t stop you from pursuing courses…just remember that nothing worth doing is easy.
Keep reading to see my 5 Steps and then grab the free Course Creation Cliff’s Notes, where I go even more in depth. Download the Cliff’s Notes here.
Sounds simple enough, right?
It certainly can be! My best advice is to choose a topic where your skill and your passion collides. Bonus points if you have developed your own method or process that you know your community would love to learn. No matter what topic you choose, make sure you’re *excited* to teach it. No one wants to learn from someone who has no excitement for their topic! After you choose your topic, poll your community members to make sure this is something they would be interested in. You don’t need community members beating down your door, but there does need to be some interest generated in this topic, otherwise you will have a hard time selling your course. If you’re not getting much interest in your course topic, but you know your audience needs this class, it may be up to you to educate them on the way your class will change, transform, or benefit them. That requires a bit more work on your end, but it is definitely possible to generate interest this way!
Lesson plans are not just for school teachers anymore! Lessons plans are a must-have when it comes to online courses. My lesson plans look like an outline, with lessons paid out in the order they’ll be taught. Within each lesson, I bullet point the specific things taught within that lesson. And if there’s room to get even more detailed, I will add those things in too. My brain can be a bit chaotic, so a solid lesson plans helps me ensure I won’t forget anything important and I stay organized and on track to finish my course in a timely manner. You can also share your lesson plan with your community to get them excited about all the juicy info they’ll learn from you!
Production is my favorite part!! This is where you bust out the camera, you get pumped up to teach, and you clean off your desk so it looks nice and pretty 😉
Production time still gives me butterflies! My top tips are: be prepared. Have a script or notecards off to the side so you can stay on track. If you are appearing on camera, just relax. When it’s just you filming in your own space, there is no audience. Stay true to your personality, try to be natural (I know this takes some practice), and give yourself grace. Pretend like you’re sitting down to teach a friend…and don’t forget to smile!
After you’ve filmed your course, it’s time to edit. Editing is probably my least favorite part, but what makes editing fun is choosing the perfect music for my intro, and cutting out all those mistakes. Watching those mess-ups get deleted right from the video is quite satisfying! I use iMovie to edit all my courses (free on all Apple computers) and I have gotten so fast at editing over the years that it is the least time-consuming step in my course creation process.
It’s launch time! Time to put your beautiful class out into the world for students to enjoy. Whether you’re launching your course on Skillshare, in a free video series on YouTube, or on a privately hosted platform, you should treat your launch like it’s special. Get your community excited to take your course by talking about it. Talk about it on social media and on your e-mail list. As students start to join your course, get back on all those platforms and talk about it some more. And as the testimonials and reviews roll in, don’t forget to share those too!
The work is not done after you press ‘publish’ on your course. Even more important work happens next! You should be available to your students. Answer their questions, give feedback on their progress, and simply be there to cheer them on. And! One of the best things you can do to build trust with your students is to add additional content if needed…as the teacher, you can do that! I have often added bonuses lessons or modules to courses after they launched because students had the same questions. Doing this shows your students that you’re truly there to support them.
And start priming your community for your next class! Ask them what they want to learn next, listen to their pain points, and start dropping hints about what you have coming down the road. The more classes you release, the more your students will get excited to keep learning from you. You won’t regret piquing their interest. I promise!
That’s it! Those are the 5 steps to creating courses that I use every single time. Don’t forget to download the Course Creation Cliff’s Notes and get on my waitlist for Crafting Online Courses!