How To Make Money By Turning Your Knowledge Into An Online Course
Knowledge is something that happens to all of us. It is simply one of the ways in which the human brain works. When you know something, it’s very difficult to remember what it was like not knowing that thing.
As soon as you have a new skill or you’ve acquired some knowledge, it kind of feels normal and you forget that you didn’t always have it. And because of this, it leads us to undervalue and sometimes even be blind to our own knowledge and skills.
You have knowledge you can share with others, you just need to find out how to reach them. You want to take control of your financial future by diversifying and scaling the ways you make money, and want an always-on product you can sell while working on other projects.
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There are two knock-on effects that follow from the curse of knowledge. One of them I’m sure you’ve experienced yourself and the other I’m sure you’ve observed in someone else.
So the first is imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is when someone asks for our expertise maybe we’re asked to give a presentation or a talk on a topic and we feel like “Oh my god, they want me to speak about this? They think I’m an expert?”
It feels to me like you know everybody else must know the things you know more or less, and there are other people who are way better at this than you who know way more.
Imposter syndrome happens even to world leading experts and even the people who have basically given talks and written best selling books. It still happens because as humans, we are blind to our own knowledge and skills that we often feel like if people only knew what this feels like, they wouldn’t ask for your expertise.
If you fall into this trap, the result can just be that you don’t create a course because you feel like you don’t know enough.
I’m sure you’ve had a teacher or professor who clearly knew what they were talking about and clearly a very knowledgeable person, but they just could not explain things like a normal human being.
That’s due to the curse of knowledge and they basically couldn’t imagine how little their students understood the topic. And so everything they say just goes over everyone’s head.
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The second major mistake that people make when building online courses is to think that an online course is like an information download. It’s to think that okay, I’m making a course about topic X, therefore, I have to put everything I know about topic X in that course.
If I want to make this super valuable, I have to cram absolutely everything I know about this topic in. And the more stuff I cram into the course, the more valuable it is.
This is a huge mistake and in most cases after a certain point, the more stuff you cram into the course the worse it gets. It’s also something that prevents people from making a course because they feel intimidated and overwhelmed.
If you want to create a kickass course, the first strategy is to become a course sculptor. People don’t want to buy your online course and there’s nothing personal about it. People don’t want to buy my online courses either.
In fact, generally people don’t want to buy courses. When someone buys a course, it’s not because they want to hear someone talk for several hours about a topic.
People want outcomes, they have goals, and they have problems they want to solve. People have transformations that they want to experience. An online course is a means to an end.
I’m not trying to get all the information, I’m trying to reach a certain outcome. This is why when we have a problem or we want to achieve a goal, we usually go and do a search for exactly how do I do the thing?
We don’t usually start reading the encyclopedia from cover to cover in order to maybe discover the answers inside. The strategy here is to realize that people want a very specific outcome, and you want to create an outcome oriented course.
And that means you must become a sculptor. You need to take the unrefined block of all the knowledge and things that could be said about a topic, and you need to sculpt and eventually polish down to the perfect shape that makes a good course.
It’s a huge mistake to think that what you need to do to deliver a better course is deliver a larger block of knowledge. What you need to do is to create a more streamlined outcome oriented program.
You need to select from all the information and select what actually matters for your student to reach the desired outcome. That’s the general principle that you should operate under to make it much easier to create a more valuable course.
Keep the outcome that your customer wants to reach in mind. Think about the top three most important things that you need to convey in your course.
You need to whittle down the entire knowledge to what is the most important stuff. What is the most important thing you can teach? You want to do more but really reduce it down to the three most important things in terms of knowledge, skill, and exercises that your customer needs to have to reach their outcome.
These three top priorities will be the three most important modules in your course. Let’s make this a bit more practical with an example. Let’s take weightlifting and say you make a course about weightlifting.
Your goal is to teach weightlifting and whittle it down to the three most important lifts that you’re going to teach. That’s the most important stuff. One of these exercises is the squat and the mistake that we often make is to think okay we’re going to start with Anatomy 101.
We’re not going to learn about the human body, about the bone structure, about muscles, about tendons, and so on and so forth. We’re just going to cover the information we need in order to do a good squat.
Now you can’t argue that all these things are important and play into the final result of a strong squat. We want our customer to be able to do squats and teach exactly the things that this customer needs to know about mobility, about strength, about movements exercises, and so on.
That takes them from where they are to the desired outcome. This way, you end up with a course that has three modules and each module has the essential exercises and steps as lessons.
This is a streamlined and highly valuable course that helps the customer in an essential way without overwhelming them. By designing a course following the three strategy method, you help your customer achieve important goals as quickly as possible.
Customer development is one of the best ways in which to develop course content and to find out whether what you’re teaching is relevant and whether it works.
To avoid the curse of knowledge is to work with people directly. It can mean anything from getting on a phone call or a Skype call with someone, to coaching someone one-on-one, or even just sending out surveys.
You want to take steps to get direct interaction with potential customers. When you work with someone directly, the shorter your feedback loop is.
If I have an idea for something I want to teach and explain it to someone out loud, I get immediate feedback. The confused look on their face immediately tells me something is unclear, and I can course correct on the spot.
If I design and create an entire course, it may take maybe a month or two to do. When I launch it and try to get some customers, some people may buy it and some may send a message saying this doesn’t make any sense.
That is a lot of work to do to get the same insight I could get in a single conversation with a person. Many people find it intimidating to have to give a talk, to record a video, or to put together lessons for a course.
But if I simply ask you to explain something to me, you’ll probably just start talking and the way you explain things is the way you should be explaining things online.
The way you choose where to start your explanation, what things to tell me, and how to lead me to the answer I’m looking for, that is how you should structure your course.
Most of us are capable of doing this because we have practiced explaining things and talking to people. It’s just that when we switch context out of talking to someone to making a course, we feel like this is something totally different.
We forget everything we actually already know about how to teach by doing customer development. Customer development is just a fancy way of saying talking to potential customers and working with them.
What you need to have is a clear idea of how to develop the content and validate the content idea for an online course. You also need to know how to put together the actual course material, how to price it, and how to do a launch even on a tight deadline.
Build an online course that’s ready to pre-sell in 30 days. It’s time to turn ambition into action. In 30 days, you’re going to outline your course, create your first lecture, and learn how to sell — all with expert, step-by-step guidance from the Teachable team.
You don’t want to wait to make money until after you’ve completed your entire course. You want to get paid for the work you’re doing now.
I highly encourage you to take action on your knowledge and think about what it would take for you to start building a course right now, and start making money online.
It’s no grand secret that consumers like to know what they’re purchasing before handing over money.
But, don’t be fooled into thinking that means every single aspect of an online course or coaching service needs to be created and fully laid out from the start. Oftentimes, a strong sales page and compelling message is enough to land a sale.
Prior to launching an online course, you should make sure you’re armed with two things, learn how to build it before you sell it. Start now and turn your knowledge into a profitable online course.
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