Profit from Your Expertise. Sell Your Professional Know-How through Online Courses

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: July 7, 2017
Photo caption: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

Online courses have quickly become one of the fastest and easiest ways to start a business where you can sell your expertise and skills. Learn how in this resource guide.

Have you ever wanted to package your expertise and start your own business? While this is something many people have probably thought about, it's not something most have actually accomplished. The amazing thing about selling your expertise is that it's now easier than ever before, thanks to the power of the internet, global interconnectivity, and platforms that make it easy to create and sell such courses online.

As someone who has successfully run an online business for over 20 years, I know firsthand the value of having an expertise and building a brand out of it. After working behind the scenes and running my own lead generation company for nearly a decade, I launched my own blog and brand. Since then, a new world of opportunities has opened up, including selling online courses and gaining a loyal following. 

It's easy for anyone to get started with an online business of their own, simply by selling their expertise through online courses. Here are three steps to guide you along the way.

Step 1: Know what you are good at and what people want

The first step in the process of building a successful business and branding yourself as an expert is to simply know what you are good at. It's also important to make sure there is an audience and demand for your product.

A good example of this would be if you were a basketball coach and knew how to teach kids the necessary skills to become better players. You could create a series of videos about the same drills and exercises you have your team players do, but then make a complete course out of it. In addition to the videos, you could also include a daily schedule, an update sheet and goal plans.

As you can see, this is something a great coach would already have in place for his or her own team. Putting it all together and selling it as an online course, though, is a lot easier and more effective than you might think.

Step 2: Find a platform and build your course

The biggest turnoff as to why would-be entrepreneurs and experts might not pursue starting an online course or business of their own is that they simply don't know where to start. Also, being that the internet and technology today can be intimidating, it is enough to make any internet user think twice about getting started.

The good news is that software solution providers and marketing companies knew they would have to create an easy-to-use solution for anyone to get started if they wanted to survive. While platforms like WordPress make it easy for anyone to start a website or blog without the need to touch a line of code, there are many online course builders that follow the same route. (I've listed a few of the top solutions below.)

When considering the different opportunities around you, it's important to decide how you want to create your course content, sell it and market it to different audiences. A popular solution, Kajabi, allows individuals or small business owners to create an account on their site and then build a membership site or course of their own. The benefit to using a platform like Kajabi is that you will have full ownership over the content you create, have full customization over your site and its content, while also earning 100 percent of the revenue generated from your sales.

Another option is to create a video course and place it on an online learning marketplace like Udemy. With over 20,000 instructors on the site and more than 48,000 courses to choose from, Udemy has paved the way as the leader in making courses accessible and easy to create for anyone. Unlike Kajabi, Udemy has a rev-sharing program in place, where they have multiple outlets to promote your online course, while also taking a cut of the earnings in the process. When it comes to creating a video course on Udemy, it's simply a matter of taking your existing content and uploading it to their site through their course wizard.

No matter which option you choose, getting set up with a live course of your own is quite easy. Depending on the platform you choose, there may be upfront costs or simply a commission rev-share in place. Be sure to compare the features and benefits of each solution. 

Step 3: Get your content in front of the right audience

It is imperative that you know who your audience is and how you should deliver your material to them. Depending on the demographic and the pricing of your course, this may be easier or more difficult than you might think.

One of the best options for promoting an online course is to do so through your existing website or blog if you have one. Since this will likely be an audience that already knows and trusts you, they would be more likely to move forward with a purchase on your site. It's also highly recommended that you introduce your mailing list and social audience to your new course as well.

When it comes to paid advertising, you have a few options to choose from. Something that's working extremely well for many experts in the online marketing and teaching niche is promoting their courses through webinars, then running them on Facebook Ads through paid promotion. This works well for two reasons. First, you get to build a big mailing list from all of the leads generated; second, webinars are one of the best ways to live sell to an audience, especially if you have a pricey course to sell.

It's time to go live with a course of your own

 

With so many people creating content on the internet these days, it's getting tougher than ever to build an audience. Through the use of an online course, not only will you be able to build a loyal following and audience, you just might be able to make some good money in the process. It's much easier and more cost-effective to spend advertising dollars on content that can generate you money versus simply trying to create content and drive people to your site.

Be sure to run through the key points listed above and check out the resources, then start building a plan for launching your own course in the next 30 days.

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