I had coffee with a young woman who has a successful consulting practice. She wants to have more time to spend with her 3-year-old.
She likes working from home, and she likes having the boy with her. But it would be nice to have less pressure for one-on-one consultations and more passive income.
Maybe you’re in a similar situation. There’s only one of you, and you can scale yourself only so far. If your whole business involves face-to-face meetings, there’s a limit to your earning and your time.
One way to overcome that limit is with an online course. With a course you can —
- Teach more people
- Get your message out further and wider
- Use your time more efficiently.
Then, for students who want to go deeper, you can offer a smaller mastermind group, giving them more of your attention, or high-investment one-on-one coaching. It’s a much better use of your time and gives your clients the opportunity to make the best use of what you have to offer.
Creating an online course will take some work, but once you’ve got it set up, you can use it over and over again. Let’s say you charge $200 per hour for a private coaching visit. Think of the value to your clients of a $400 or $500 online course that teaches your system. Once that course is finished, you can sell it over and over again with very little hands-on work on your part.
Obviously, the numbers I’ve given will depend on your offer and your audience, but you can see what a difference it will make to automate some of your teaching. Derek Halpern of Social Triggers shares the example of a man teaching novelists to use the Scrivener writers’ software, making $20,000 to $30,000 per month.
Amy Porterfield gives a good overview of how to price an online course.
For an online course, you need to put your system into a few modules. How many, again, will depend on your topic and audience, but think in terms of 6-10 sessions, delivered weekly.
Many online teachers give their lessons in a webinar format, recording them as video to be repeated again and again.
Along with each lesson there are handout materials to make the learning stick. Think in terms of quizzes, resource lists, or worksheets.
Your students will need a forum of some kind to talk among themselves. It can also serve as a place where you can dive in every now and then to help someone out and advance their knowledge. Facebook’s private groups are easy to set up and manage and don’t require much instruction since participants most people are already frequent Facebook users.
A weekly Q&A call will answer questions on information your students are not sure of. Besides improving the learning experience for your students, you’ll be able to use their questions as material for blog posts and other marketing content. It will also help you make improvements to the course for future students.
Through an online course you can serve dozens of students in just an hour or two per week, leaving you more time to live to the fullest, while giving them a rich experience of your knowledge and an opportunity to improve their lives.
The hardest part of the process will be to collect your knowledge into a teachable system for online students. Hard, but valuable — and not only valuable in money.
Creating a course will give you a greater mastery of your knowledge and more confidence to promote it.
Your course will increase the market for your personal coaching.
Your personal coaching will create a market for the course.
Another element that works neatly into the process is a book.
The system you compile for your course can become the basis for a book. Each chapter will correspond to a module of your online course. In the book, you can link to resource materials on your website, where readers to sign up for your mailing list.
On your site, you can also tell readers about the opportunity to go deeper by taking your course.
Your book will promote your course, and you can use your book to attract prospective clients into your sphere where you provide the valuable services you offer.
At every step along the way, your book and your course creating increasing value for your people and increasing income for yourself.
If the idea of a book and a course seem intimidating, don’t let that deter you. I can help you make it happen by letting you offload the tasks that aren’t a good fit for your skills. That way you keep control of the project without letting the hard parts (whatever parts you think are hard) hold you back.
If you’d like to talk about how you can build an online course with a book, call me for a free consultation at (503) 765-6981.