Have you ever thought of creating an online course?

If you’ve got specific expertise to share with the world, creating a course can be an incredible new revenue stream. Don’t believe us? The global e-learning market is expected to reach USD 370 Billion by 2026. 😳

Ready to grab a piece of that pie? 🥧

If you’re thinking “Yes!”, you may be feeling equal parts excited and overwhelmed. And if you’re new to digital products or course creation, you’re probably wondering, “Where do I even begin?”

TBH, the learning curve to creating a course can be steep.

You may even be filled with dread thinking about the pile of work ahead of you: 

  • Research
  • Writing
  • Recording lessons
  • Making videos
  • Creating workbooks

…the list goes on! 

While there are dozens of coaches and gurus online with programs teaching you how to successfully begin your journey into digital course entrepreneurship, they can cost a pretty penny. 

In today’s post, we’re sharing a simple guide for you to keep in mind when creating your very first course. We’ll be covering:

  1. The importance of market research and the transformational journey your students will undergo
  2. How to decide the best way to deliver course content 
  3. An effective pre-launch strategy for your course
  4. Bonus tip: Make sure your course is legally covered in all aspects

Okay, let’s get right into it! 👇🏽

Identify the Transformation

The most important thing to keep in mind at all times when creating your online course is this 👇🏽

Your students will be entering into a transformational journey when taking your course.

First, imagine their starting point. How are they feeling/acting when beginning your online course?

Then, think about the changes they’ll experience throughout based on the lessons they learn in your program.

You have to grasp just how powerful and impactful your course can be.

That’s why the first tip before creating a digital program is to do market research.

Your findings from the research influences the transformational journey your students will experience.

Market research all comes down to having conversations within your community. This can be done through interviews during discovery calls, questions you receive via IGTV lives or in your DMs, and fun quizzes/polls you post on your stories. The options are endless!

Another aspect of market research is self-reflection about how you’d like to serve your community. Ask yourself:

How will your online course create change?

  • If you’re in nutrition, is it through teaching healthy habits?
  • If you’re a practitioner focused on motherhood, is it through teaching how to sleep train a baby?
  • If you’re a business coach, will it be about how to grow an email list?

We suggest asking questions that go even deeper to really cater to your community. Questions like:

  • How will doing what you do actually transform your client’s life?
  • What change do your potential clients desire in their lives?
  • What are they frustrated with?
  • How can you support your client in solving the most pressing and urgent issues they have?

By doing effective research, you’ll find out who in your community needs your help most, what they need help with, and if those things are in alignment with your own purpose and business goals.

And ultimately, you’ll have key information and answers that you can use as the base of your program.

Remember: everything about your course has to relate back to solving your ideal client’s problem. It’s not enough to create a course simply because you “feel like it” or it would be fun.

We want to make sure you get that coin, sis. And market research is *exactly* how you do that. 😉

Decide How You’ll Deliver Material

Next, you want to start thinking about the format and how you’ll deliver your course content. 

A key factor in your digital course’s success is understanding what methods or learning styles are best for your students. 

Ask yourself the following questions, and write down the answers to them:

  • Will the course be in real-time?
  • Is it a live course with group coaching calls?
  • Or are the lessons pre-recorded, with worksheets, workbooks, and other digital material?
  • Is it just audio lessons students can download and listen to wherever? 
  • Will it be exclusively in a slideshow presentation format?

As you’re answering these questions, keep in mind the clients you’ll be delivering to and creating this content for.

You want to dive deep to ultimately answer this question:

Who is your ideal client and what is the easiest type of content for them to consume?

For example, if your target market is busy moms juggling family, business, and all.the.things, they probably don’t have the time to sit down for 90 minutes or more to watch your live modules as they’re being presented in real-time. 

So, what can you do to solve this issue? 

Instead, you can pre-record short videos between 10-20 mins long so that they’re easily digestible and your clients can watch them when they have a short break in their day. Naptime learning for the win! 😉

Or, you could even use a service like HelloAudio to convert your videos into audio feeds so your clients can listen to your course podcast-style, on-the-go. 

Don’t forget to be inclusive of your clients with disabilities!

You can create PDFs or videos with subtitles to make sure your content is accessible to all. 

Whoever your target market is, coming up with creative solutions to address the needs of your community will make you a leader in your industry. 💃🏽⁠💫

Don’t Neglect Your Pre-Launch

Launching an online course is so exciting! 

But in all your work prepping to create your brand new offer, do *not* forget to build buzz around what you’re creating. 

The last thing you want is to have your launch feel totally random and out of the blue to your ideal clients. 

So how do you avoid this disaster?

By intentionally warming up your audience well before the launch takes place! Otherwise known as the pre-launch.

There are two important elements to any marketing campaign:

  • The pre-launch
  • The launch itself

To warm up your target audience, you need to have pre-launch content lined up before the actual launch, and at least 8 weeks ahead of time.

The content should:

Educate: let your audience know that you’ll be releasing a new product soon. During the last few weeks of the pre-launch stage, you can even let them know that it’s your new course and a few important course details.

You can educate by holding Q&As on IG, or going live to build buzz around what you’ve been doing.

Entertain: doing reels showing BTS, and tidbits of course information is a fun way of creating interest in your community about your new program.

Nurture: sending out pre-launch emails is critical! As much as we at Coaches & Co. love using social media to warm up the community, emails are where it’s at. 💌

Emails are like intimate, love letters to your audience giving a one-on-one feel between you and your community. Nurture campaigns are emails that give value, show you care, and give you the chance to speak to your community like you’re BFFs. 👯

During this warmup period, you want to make sure that you’re building up excitement, hype, and engaging with your community, as well as opening up discussions around your course topic.

We shared a few different options on how you can do this, and sometimes it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

Our recommendation is to plan your strategy ahead of time and create a marketing plan.

An example of a solid plan you could follow is:

  • Post to your IG feed 5 times/week
  • Go on IG live at least 1/week discussing a specific topic about your course
  • Email your list 2/week
  • Host a live Q&A every other week

You can add to that list when you feel the need, but the key thing is to stick to the plan you create!

Bonus Tip: Legally Protect Your Course

The final bonus tip for you is one of the most important ones, and it’s to make sure that your online program is legally legit. ​​📝

If you’re used to offering 1-1 services to clients, you might not realize that you also need a contract when offering digital courses and products.

You want to make sure that you’re protecting yourself, your content, and your customers.

And the #1 way to do so is by having a contract between you and your clients.

In your contact, you should clearly state the terms and conditions of your product.

You want to include the following:

  • The use of course content
  • What your refund policy is
  • Guarantees or claims from your course, if any, that you’re providing 
  • Accessibility to you as the course creator
  • Definition of the scope of the relationship between you and the client

For the last one, say for example you’re a nutritionist, physician, or therapist offering an online course. You need to make it clear that just because a customer is purchasing your product, it *does not* make them your patient. Make it clear that your digital course is not a replacement for seeking treatment. 🙅🏽

And if you’re in need of a contract, you already know we got you! 🙌🏽

Our lawyer-approved, affordable and customizable contract templates are there to protect you from personal liability, professional liability, and unwarranted refund requests.

You want to be able to focus all your energy on helping your clients achieve their goals.

Our Digital Course Template is super easy to plug & play – just follow along with our User Guide + Checklist (included in your purchase!) to customize it to your offer, then copy & paste it into whatever platform you’re using to enroll peeps into your digital course.

Aaaand, ta-da! You’re ready to begin selling, promoting, & enrolling with *complete* confidence. Get itttt!

So no more stressing about contracts. 🙅🏽‍♀️

Let us take care of that!

Check out our ready-to-use, lawyer-approved, plug-and-play legal contract templates, so you can upgrade your client contract while staying Protected & Profitable™✨

Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you. Grab our FREE Legally Launch Guide to get the legal lowdown on everything in entrepreneurship, without the confusing mumbo jumbo. We’re serving it up straight and to the point. (Heads up: It’ll forever transform the way you view your client relationships!) Grab your copy now!

*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.

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