“Build it, and they will come.” These famous words from the movie “Fields of Dreams” might come to your mind as you contemplate building an online course.
“Build an online course. Make tons of money. Ride off happy into the sunset!” Companies that want to host or build your courses seem to be springing out of the ground. The idea of creating “residual income” through building an online course can be appealing.
Great, I agree!
What Is In for Me?
Before you start building an online course, I invite you to ask yourself an important question.
“What will building an online course (or several) do for me?”
- Will it make me “rich”? Or at least, will it earn me a worthwhile income?
- Will it give me satisfaction because I share something I know well with others? Will it create a difference for them?
- Will it make something I know immortal and support me in leaving a legacy?
In other words, what are your goals? What is it about for you?
Let’s look at it in more detail. It could be about you
- Earning money via
- Course tuitions or memberships,
- Attracting new clients to your business (educational marketing; enhanced customer service)
- Training your team
- Training partners
- Increasing the value of your company (a result of 1-4)
- Creating an impact (you won’t earn money without creating an impact),
- Leaving a legacy,
- Making succession easier,
- Protecting your company or organization from loss of knowledge when a key person leaves,
- Being able to delegate better than before,
- Being able to grow and scale much more quickly without the risk of tarnishing your hard-earned reputation
- Freeing up time for personal enjoyment,
- Freeing up time, so you have more time to think of new ideas
- The list of possibilities goes on.
These questions are about your goals. Which ones resonate with you? I invite you to write them down.
What Is In for The Recipients?
Now, let’s ask what your course will do for the intended recipients. Why would they invest time and, if applicable, money to take the course?
Your course must help them learn something they want or need to know. The clearer you are about the specifics of the recipient’s motivation/s, the better. For example,
- It helps them grow personally.
- It helps them grow in their career. Often, that growth leads to an increase in opportunity and income.
- It helps them understand why they should buy your products or services (educational marketing)
- It helps them better themselves, their family, business, or non-profit.
- It improves their relationships.
- It boosts their self-confidence and how others see them.
That list also goes on.
Why Is Brilliance Mapping So Important?
Building a course almost always takes a bit more effort than you think initially. That said, it is well worth it once
- You are clear about your motivations AND
- You have looked at your plans from the perspective of the recipients of your course/s.
- You have a much better idea of your return on the investment of your time, money, and brilliance.
That is why Brilliance Mapping is so important as the first step in the Brilliance mining process.
A Few More Tips
- Not all goals listed above need a full-on online course.
- You can start small and build it up over time. Some projects start by building checklists. If you think that is “nothing,” picture how important it is to do a preflight check.
- You can reuse the same content in many different ways. For example, you may use the same materials for keynotes, videos, books, courses, checklists, manuals, to name a few of the many options.
The Key Takeaways
- Beware of people who want to convince you to build an online course without first considering your motivations and goals.
- Furthermore, it is equally important to consider the motivations of the intended recipients.
- Don’t just “build it” and expect people to come.
- Build your course with a clear intention.
- Once you have that clarity, dare to start.
- You can start small and build it up over time.
- Test and get feedback along the way.
- You will get a much better return on your investment of time, money, and your brilliance that way.
- There are many possible reasons to build an online course.
- Most of the time, the course completely on its own, will not make you rich – but it can earn you a nice income.
- What you do with the course in the context of your business or organization often generates stellar returns.
- Have you thought about creating an online course – or a book?
- What are your goals?
- What do you think the student or reader would gain from your course or book? Why would they take the time to consume it?