With the struggles of the past months, online learning has become the go-to alternative to all types of education. People all over the world are now discovering that they can perform many activities at home, and business owners of many types find they can keep their business afloat by educating their customers through creating online courses.
Throughout the process of creating, promoting, and selling an online course, you have to overcome various challenges. Luckily, the internet is full of advice, examples, and case studies on how to surpass any hurdle when creating an online course. You can learn a lot from others’ experiences and find what works for you.
But if all sorts of technical issues are more straightforward to deal with, psychological issues are a horse of a totally different color. Online course creators are often discouraged, even before they even start, from following their passion and putting into practice their ideas.
Overcoming 5 fears about creating an online course
The most common such setbacks are mostly misconceptions about what it means to be a knowledge commerce entrepreneur and fears (that are more or less irrational) about what you can achieve with your creations.
Here are five examples of fears about creating an online course and how you can overcome each of them:
My course can’t possibly be successful
With so many online courses at our fingertips, you may think there’s no more room for yours. Not so fast! I know that seeing so much competition may be daunting, but this doesn’t have to stop you from releasing your course into the virtual world.
When you search online to see if there’s interest in the topic of your course, you will find yourself in one of two scenarios:
- you won’t find much information, meaning there is little or no audience for it, or
- you’ll find a lot of courses, blogs, and products of different types about your topic, which shows you face a lot of competition.
The second scenario shouldn’t startle you, because this means there’s a wider audience which you can address and your chances to succeed are higher. If you focus on your branding, on what you bring to the table, and not let yourself be blindsided by the competition, you’ll be fine.
As long as your topic is on-demand, it means you have a fair chance to succeed by offering your skills, your own perspective, and experience on the subject. People are different and you will find your audience willing to join you on a learning journey because of your unique approach that caters to their needs.
My course idea may not be popular
As a course creator, you should focus on what you already know and structure your content according to your skillset. Even if the topic you choose may not be the most popular one, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on it completely.
While seeing a topic in high demand can give you the amount of confidence you need to pursue your plans and launch a course on the online market, it does not guarantee your success if you don’t know what you are talking about.
While it’s clear that a popular course idea is good, it is not nearly enough to succeed. So, don’t create a course on any topic simply because that topic is trendy.
Instead, focus on what you know, what your passion is, what problems other people can solve based on your knowledge and experience. You will come through as transparent and authentic, which gives you credibility in the online world.
I’m not exactly an expert
When you begin teaching offline or online, as an official instructor or out of passion, you tend to feel you don’t belong in that position. This is called “the impostor syndrome”. You feel like you don’t have enough experience as a teacher/instructor or that your knowledge is not enough -- and it can be overwhelming.
But a lot of times, the best results in learning come from teachers with little teaching experience. Why? Because they can relate to their learners at a level that a more experienced teacher can’t. Experts may know the subject down to the finest details, but that doesn’t mean that learners process and assimilate all of it.
However, when you begin your teaching journey, you want the best for your learners and relate better to their struggles, because those struggles were your own, not so long ago. This inevitably connects you and your students on a higher level.
Everyone started at some point as inexperienced and later on became experts in their fields. You will be an expert only if you start teaching. So, redefine what “expert” means to you and connect with your learners.
I’m not sure how much to charge
There is this common belief that courses on hard skills topics sell more than soft skills ones, but that’s not entirely true. When you choose a topic for your course that you know and you consider beneficial to possible customers, then the type of content doesn’t matter.
You can make money by selling a fewer number of products at a higher price or you can make the same profit by selling a larger number of items for a smaller sum. That means you need to assess your course according to the value it brings to your audience.
Of course, people are going to be more willing to pay a considerable amount of money on a product that will ensure them an increase in their financial gains. You just need to be able to convince your audience of that. Conversely, you cannot expect someone to pay thousands of dollars on courses that they can’t gain from in the long run.
Bear in mind that there are a lot of free online materials that anyone can access, though. So try to remember that people choose courses because they need real guidance and insight to be able to navigate through the learning content and that is what differentiates you from other course creators. So, put the right price on your course and customers are sure to come.
I’m not that good with technology
An online course can’t possibly exist without online technologies. There are indeed many types of edtech for many aspects of online course creation. But you don’t have to be extremely tech-savvy to make use of them and create, promote, and sell your course.
While you can reach out to experts for different stages of your course creation, you may not have the budget to do so. Nevertheless, if you opt for an LMS, you get everything in one place and you can create your course on your own.
From intuitive course designs to progress tracking features, from built-in collaboration and communication tools to e-commerce features -- and so much more -- an LMS is one of the most comprehensive solutions for you.
It provides you with all the pieces that make a course easy to use and sell to your customers, and it doesn’t require much technical knowledge from your side. An LMS offers the best experience possible in the learning process both for you and your learners.
Finding your balance
There’s no such thing as a universal recipe for success in creating online courses. And success never comes easy. There are a lot of barriers for you to cross and fears to overcome, from creating, to marketing, to selling your online course.
To overcome all these challenges you need to find your balance, your sweet spot between the right topic and your targeted audience, what’s trendy and what you’re good at, your knowledge and your students’ needs, what you offer and its value for your learners, and your budget and the right tech tools.
Stay true to yourself and be authentic in the whole process so that you can create a niche for your course and make a name for yourself in the e-learning industry.
You can do it!