Troy: In this video, you're going to learn how to take the knowledge you have in your head about what it is you do and turn that knowledge into a lucrative online course you can sell on the internet. You can also download our free templates to help you get started.
Client work will keep you chained down forever. You're constantly negotiating on price because things are getting so competitive, and you're unable to step away from the business because you're effectively selling time for money. Whereas teaching your own online course allows you to reach thousands of students all over the world and unlocks your earning potential.
You already have knowledge and the experience in your head that you can turn into an online course, and I want to help you get there.
Why You Should Consider Your Own Online Course
Look, if you're currently doing any kind of consulting, coaching, teaching, or client work, you're effectively selling your time for money. There's a limit on how much you can earn and how many people you can help. It's also really bad for your lifestyle, because the minute you step away from clients, you stop earning money. Well, if you turn your expertise and your skills into an online course, there's no limit on how many people you can impact and how much revenue you can earn, and you can keep helping students and keep getting paid for it while you sleep, or while you're on the beach, or staying home with your kids, or trekking through Nepal, or whatever it is you'd rather be doing, other than explaining to another client why their idea is just plain terrible.
The thing is, as soon as you start teaching a course, you're instantly seen as an authority in your market and you actually start attracting better clients anyway. Maybe you're a business coach, a music teacher, a marketing consultant, a graphic designer, a psychologist, a personal trainer, a chiropractor. These are all people I've helped take their knowledge out of their head and turn into an online course, including my friend, Kristina, in the US.
Kristina: That's right, Troy, in the website development company I built, I found the best way to create ongoing website care plans for my clients. I took that knowledge and I was able to construct a course for other website consultants to provide care plans and quality support for their clients. Being able to pivot in this direction has revolutionised the way that I do business. It gave me greater exposure as a person of authority in my industry. It opened up opportunities for speaking engagements, and subsequently, it increased business and revenue overall.
Being able to take my company down this new avenue of training and online learning has allowed me more time in my primary role of a full-time stay-at-home mom of three small kids. Being able to productise, it's allowed me the freedom to not worry about the unpredictable workflow of selling services. Even more amazing is seeing the impact that it had on other website consultants to completely change their business with what I've taught them. It gives me such a boost to know that I'm helping other people change their lives, and now the timing is perfect for you to be thinking about this for yourself.
Troy: Forbes Magazine, incidentally ranked the second most popular news and media website in the world, recently published an article stating that the online learning market was worth $107 billion in 2015. In case you missed it, LinkedIn recently acquired Lynda.com, the largest online learning platform in the world for $1.5 billion. Forbes Magazine also published that large companies like Bank of America, 1-800-Flowers, GE, and even the Google-meister are using online education for their staff and their customers. Those in the know have seen how big this opportunity is and how big it is going to continue to be in the years to come.
Our Experience With Online Courses
For those of you who don't know me, three years ago I had a digital marketing agency and we were building websites and digital marketing campaigns for clients. I wasn't particularly satisfied with client work and I felt restricted by how many hours we could bill or how many projects we could work on at the same time. I started teaching and coaching other digital agencies how to improve their business processes and make their organisations more profitable. I developed a course, started selling it online, and for the first two years, it did pretty well.
In the middle of 2015, we shut the course down completely and rebuilt it from the ground up, based on everything we'd learned over that first two year period. We made some very subtle, yet profound changes to the way we were delivering our course and the entire student experience. We more than tripled our business in a twelve month period. Now, I'm in the very fortunate position where I can pick and choose the clients I want to work with, and I get to help thousands of my peers all over the world simply by teaching them what I've learned and I get paid to do it while I'm sleeping. In fact, right now while you're watching this video, some of my students are watching training videos in one of our courses and unlocking badges and getting their certificates. See, you make the course once and sell it over and over again. Now Kristina and I want to help you do the same.
Kristina: Like Troy, I am in the digital space, but I didn't start out that way. At 17, I was completing my high school diploma through online learning because I was a full-time actress on the award winning television show, As the World Turns. During my three year contract with the show, I completed my high school diploma and began undergraduate courses online. I then completed my bachelor's in psychology 100% online.
After that time, I grew into filmmaking and screenwriting and I achieved my master's degree from USC, studying under the screenwriting guru, Syd Field. As much as I loved storytelling in Hollywood, I realised that I didn't want to be at the mercy of someone to tell me when I could or could not work. I quickly discovered that I could help others create their own story through designing and delivering websites, leaving me in full control of my workflow.
In 2008, I started my website development company and I haven't looked back since. I firmly believe that when you're motivated to do something, you can inspire the people around you to do the same. Online learning is the best way to do that, and I've achieved all that I have through online education. I've learned a lot on my journey, and I'm excited to share what I've learned with you.
Most Online Courses Fail
Troy: Just before we get started, I need to warn you that most online courses are spectacular failures. In a recent independent study of what is known as massive open online courses, or MOOCS, it was revealed that most courses only achieve a student completion rate of somewhere between 2 and 10%. This includes courses by universities like Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, and courses you'll find on large websites like Coursera and Udemy. Some of these organisations have even come out recently in response to this study and said that student completion rates don't really matter. Well, of course you'd say that if your completion rates were less than 10%.
One of my heroes is Seth Godin. He's an author of 18 best selling books, he's been inducted in the direct marketing hall of fame, and he has one of the most successful blogs in the world. Christina and I had the good fortune of chatting to Seth recently on my podcast. He teaches courses about leadership and freelancing on Udemy. Tens of thousands of students have enrolled in Seth's courses, and why wouldn't you? Seth is at the top of his game. He's a fantastic mentor, and his content is awesome.
Seth was recently on the Tim Ferriss podcast. You might know Tim from educational books, such as The Four Hour Work Week, and mentioned that out of those tens of thousands of students that have enrolled in his courses on Udemy, 80% of them drop out before completing the course. He also mentioned that that's really good, because most online courses have a 97% dropout rate (scroll to the 1 hour 39 minute mark). Well, we think a 97% dropout rate is a terrible experience for everyone involved. It's terrible for the students because they don't receive the full benefit of completing the training, and they kind of feel like they're being ripped off and end up with a bad taste in their mouth. It's terrible for course teachers like you and I because 97% of our students are not going to tell their friends about it and refer us new customers.
We want to make sure you don't make a course and sell it on the internet only to have 97% of your students drop out after the first couple of weeks. The courses we make and sell on the internet consistently get over 65% completion rates, and it's because we pay attention to the student experience and we build community. There are some very simple things you can do to make your course more engaging and get better outcomes for everyone, and it all starts with what we call your RockStar Playlist.
How To Make Your Online Course Rock
Every rock band has their greatest hits, right, that group of songs that you just know they're going to play when you go and see them live, the crowd pleasers. Well, in order to make sure your course is successful, you need to develop your greatest hits, that is the things that you can teach your students that will give them the best results. From our experience, we've learned that a great rockstar playlist consists of six big topics and six lessons within each topic. This gives you a playlist of 36 lessons that you can teach your students throughout your course. It's enough to keep them engaged, but not so much they feel overwhelmed. It also makes it easier to drip feed the course over a six week period, but more about that in another video.
For example, if you're a personal trainer, your six big topics might be
- upper body
- core, and
- strengthening and conditioning.
Each of those big topics would have six key lessons that you know are going to get your students the best results.
If you're a guitar teacher, you might teach
- major scales
- minor scales
- the pentatonic scale (which is very common in rock and roll music, by the way)
- playing rhythm guitar
- playing lead guitar, and
Then, you would have six key lessons in each of those topics that you know your students will just love.
I'll give you one more example. If you're a marketing consultant, you might teach
- lead generation
- lead capture
- nurture campaigns
- conversion optimization
- maximizing lifetime value, and
- measuring the right metrics.
In each of those big topics, you would have six lessons that you know get the best results for your students.
See, all of us have those key things that we teach our clients that have the biggest impact and get those big aha moments. These are the things that you hear yourself saying over and over again in conversations and at networking events and on the telephone and in emails. These are the things that you know you can help people with. This is the unique value that you offer your clients. This is your rockstar playlist.
Your job is to write down the six big things that you can teach in your course, and then write down the six key lessons underneath each theme so you end up with a document with six headings and six bullet points under each heading. Pretty straightforward, right? In fact, we've even given you a worksheet at the end of this post that you can download and fill in with some examples included.
Please don't over think this, just get it done. Here's the thing about downloading and filling in worksheets, I know it feels a little bit like a grade school exercise and I can hear you groaning now, but the fact is, worksheets actually work. That's why we use them. Getting your ideas out of your head and writing them down on paper is the first step in bringing your course to life. Remember, you're not doing anyone any favours by just keeping your ideas in your head. You need to share them with the world. Imagine if your favourite rock band never released that great song of theirs. Download the worksheet and fill it in. Deal? All right.
Now, I know you might be thinking, “Well, that's great, dude, now I've got my rockstar playlist. How can I be certain that I'm a good teacher and that my students will actually pay attention and enjoy my course?” Well, I'm glad you asked. Kristina right now is going to show us how to be RockStar Teachers.
How To Teach Like A RockStar
Kristina: In the old days, teachers were taught a simple format for teaching lessons:
- tell them what you're going to teach them
- teach them, and
- then tell them what you just taught them.
That's a great place to start if you've never taught lessons before, because it sets the students' expectations right from the start, and then it delivers on what you promised and finishes with a recap to further reiterate that you have met their expectations.
However, if you really want to teach like a rockstar, there are some subtle improvements you can make to that format. Begin with the promise of the lesson. In other words, how you're going to be transformed as a result of this lesson. Then, explain why this is important to them. You can use economic, technological and social factors to explain that things are changing in the world and this is why this knowledge is important to them right now. See, this is designed to hook them in and get them to pay attention. Then, teach them the teaching point of the lesson, then cover any objections or “what if” questions. See, most students during the lesson will have a voice in their head saying something like, “Yeah, but what if, what if?” Your job as a teacher is to know what those are and answer them during the lesson. Explain the consequences of inaction, like if you don't do anything with this knowledge, nothing will ever change. Recap and give them the action steps or their homework.
If you can deliver this format with passion, you have your subject matter in a short lesson, somewhere between five and ten minutes, you'll be well on your way to becoming a rockstar teacher.