You have the ability to create the perfect online course for your audience.
The real question is, what makes the perfect course? How do you create a product that your readers would just die to have access to?
Obviously, it would have to have information that your readers want, not what you think they want. But how do you know exactly what that is?
It should also present the information in a way that is best suited for their taste. But again, how do you know?
If only your audience could tell you exactly what they wanted. It would be as if they created the product for you. How awesome would that be?
Well, that's exactly what you should do.
Here's What I Would Do
I typically don't like to blog about online business and marketing techniques that I've never tried before (since I have yet to release any online courses of my own), however this particular “technique” has been proven by other internet marketers, and there's no reason why it shouldn't work. One day, when I do launch my own courses, I will most likely take a similar route.
The first step is to sell a coaching course to a limited number of people even before you have details about exactly what you're going to teach. You work directly with your students to create course material as you go along that is perfectly tailored to the kinds of things they are looking for. At the end of it all, you'll have the perfect product ready to launch.
Here's why this model is so genius:
- You get paid upfront before you even create any material. You then have an incentive to really produce great work for your new students to make sure they get their money's worth, and you may also want to use some of that money for equipment or software to help with your presentations and lessons.
- The curriculum is tailored to your students. You'll know if you're going too fast, too slow, or missing any key components, since your students will be there to tell you right away.
- After the “coaching program” is finished, you'll have a number of recordings, lessons, worksheets, courses, etc. already completed that you can easily turn into it's own online course or product.
- If your program was well received, you'll have a number of people who would be happy to give you an awesome testimonial for your online course.
- Your students who have their own websites or email lists may end up becoming an affiliate for your product, helping to boost sales (and buzz) when you end up launching the product.
- If your program has helped your students, then there is no doubt that your online course will help the rest of your audience as well.
Yes, the coaching program will take a lot of your time. You'll be writing lessons on the fly and possibly doing things like weekly webinars, videos, etc. Hopefully, the interaction you have with your students will inspire you to get things done and hopefully keep things fun for you.
But imagine what it would be like after that coaching program is over. You'll have these wonderful, fine-tuned lessons that are just waiting to be sold online for whatever price you see fit. You've already put in the hard work, so now you can sell on auto pilot and add to your passive income portfolio.
So which would you rather do?
Spend a couple of months creating an online course by yourself which may or may not be what people are looking for?
Spend a couple of months creating an online course with your audience that you know will be information that they want, and get paid for it?
Hmm…seems like a no-brainer to me. What do you think?
A Limited Number of Students
As I mentioned earlier, the coaching part of the process should be limited to a small number of students. I would say no more than 10 to 12 people at most. Here's why:
- Although feedback from your students is vital, you don't want to get flooded with hundreds of different opinions about what you've done and what to do next. Yes—you want different views and opinions, but too many can stress you out and confuse you on what actions to take next.
- The smaller the number of students, the better chance there is of you developing a real relationship with them, which will in turn help with the quality of the end product.
- Limiting the number of students will create buzz for your future online course. Those who don't get “accepted” into your coaching program will be anxious to purchase the online course that is created as a result.
I know it might seem like a mistake to limit the number of students because you're also limiting the amount of money you make up front. However, at this point in the process, you should be worry more about the quality of your lessons. The real money will come later once you begin to sell your online course.
“Should I offer my coaching program for free?”
My answer is no.
Not because you won't get paid, but because people who throw down money to learn from you will be more vested into your program and more likely to participate than someone who just joins for free.
A Good Idea, or Bad?
I have not yet put this to the test, but I may in the distant future. As I continue to research how other internet marketers have done something similar, I'm curious to know what you think about it?
Are there any flaws in this product creation model that should be brought to our attention?
I look forward to reading your responses. Have a wonderful week, and congrats to any New Orleans Saints fans out there. What a season!