Have you been wanting to create an online course, but you're just not sure what you would teach, or maybe you have an idea and you're not sure if it would be good or not?
Don't worry. I got you see, over the last five years, I grew my online course business to $2 million per year in a super small, weird niche. And I still remember really struggling to choose my course idea.
I thought I had to have this huge following or feel like I was already an expert or choose the super unique idea.
If you’re feeling this way too, don’t worry...because by the end of this post, you're going to have a list of potential course ideas. You're going to know exactly how to narrow down your ideas to the right one idea. And you're going to learn how to test it, to ensure that your idea is going to be profitable and successful.
Hey there, by the way, if we have not met before, hello, my name is Molly Keyser. I am an online course expert, helping people just like you to kick start their first online course profitably from day one.
So the three parts that we're going to talk about are:
Okay. So let's talk about brainstorming.
I'm sure if you're feeling like, “I'm totally blank, I have no ideas for a course.” You probably actually do have one inside of you and we're going to pull that out by me asking you some questions.
Okay. So the first question I'm going to ask you is what do people ask you for advice about?
What do people message you about or text you about asking you for help with. Keep in mind even if the advice people are asking you for seems silly or easy to you it probably just means you’re naturally good at it.
My husband Aaron gets asked for tech advice all the time and to him it’s so easy and he didn’t feel like anyone would ever pay him for that advice, but people do. Each time they’re SO thankful for his help too.
See, when you think something is easy it’s just because you’re good at it, that’s a good sign of a good idea!
The next thing that you're going to start thinking on and brainstorming on here is what are you passionate about.
Okay. So again, this could be anything from hula-hooping ice skating, helping people with online marketing, helping business owners, helping people learn how to raise their kids. Literally anything at all, just list out and start brainstorming.
The most important thing here is just to get started with your list because it can seem really daunting to just come up with one course idea to get started. So really going and making that list is going to help you be able to get everything out of your brain. You're not going to do all of these course ideas. This is just the brainstorming and list, pulling elements. So let's dive into secret number two.
So when I first started my very, very first online course, it was not successful. I even purchased a course from a guru. I followed everything they told me to do, but they did not tell me to do this one very, very important step. And that is researching and validating your course idea to ensure that it's going to be profitable to ensure that people actually want this course idea.
So what I ended up doing was just pulling an idea from random. And I was like, okay, well I think this is something that people need. So I'm going to go ahead and create this. I spent months and months and months building out this course, perfecting this course buying expensive gear to make this course only for it to flop.
I thought I needed this extremely unique idea. My very first online course was called bootylicious business camp. You're probably like what the *bleep* is that?! Yeah, you can giggle at it lol.
But honestly, I'm just so happy that I got started (even with a bad idea), even if it was a rough start because otherwise, I wouldn't be here with you today.
But the thing I did not do was research.
So now that you have your list of ideas, what I want you to do is research them, research them on Google, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, anywhere you can research.
You're probably thinking, well, what am I researching? What am I looking for?
So what you're looking for is to prove that your idea can be successful. You're looking for other courses out there that are already on that topic that are already selling. So, the crazy thing is I thought I needed some crazy unique ideas, some shark tank, crazy idea that's never been done before, but honestly, guys, that's why my course flopped.
The second course that I did made over $70,000 in seven days was because I used my profitable course kickstart method. And because I validated, proved and researched my course idea. So don’t skip these important parts.
So let's say for example, one of the courses on your list is, “how to not kill your houseplants.” You don't have to be some super gardening expert. You just need to know how to not kill your houseplants. Right.
So start Googling and searching on YouTube, Pinterest, different search engines and looking to see is there already a course out there like that? And most importantly, is it already selling?
Now you might be thinking, well, if I go ahead and create the same course idea, that's already out there, how is mine going to stand out?
Great question. So I like to use this little analogy. Do you remember the Rachel haircut from the show friends, it was super popular in the nineties?
Every single girl would go into the salon with a picture of Rachel, from friends and they'd be like, I want this haircut, but they would leave the salon looking nothing like Rachel. And it's because they're not Rachel. And that's just like, your course, you're going to stand out with your idea because you are unique and your story is unique.
So you don't actually want a unique course idea. You just want to put your unique spin on an idea that’s already proven to sell. Does that make sense?
With that in mind, let's get to secret number three.
So secret number three is to test your idea.
I do this with all of my students inside of my course profitable courses.
They use my script to post on a Facebook or Instagram, wherever they have a following, even if it's like 50 people, or even if it's just a little bit of family members, or even if it's a different group that you're in anywhere that you can get in front of the right eyeballs.
What you do is you want to see if people are interested and get them to vote with their dollars. So you want to write something along the lines of like, Hey, I'm looking for X people who are interested in keeping their house plants alive. If that's, you put an emoji below.
So these people are now saying that they're interested in learning and you can then message those people and let them know that, Hey, you'd be willing to do a 30 minute or a 60 minute coaching call with them. And you can charge anywhere from $49-$299 for this. The point here isn't to make tons and tons of money. The point is to get paid, to test your idea, but also to ensure that people are interested at the level that they're actually willing to pay for it.
Now you're not going to go ahead and build out the course yet. You are just going to see if people are even interested to pay even $99 for a quick coaching session to learn on this topic from you.
Now you might be thinking, my course idea is way too long to teach in 30 minutes. That's okay. Just pull one little thing out of your course idea and teach that.
The whole point here is to make sure that people vote with their dollars and not with their words. And Hey, if you're nervous to see if people are willing to pay for your course idea, which by the way, if you research it and you find other courses out there selling that's enough for you to know that your course is going to sell but this is a great way to get to learn more about your potential customers, get some cash up front and start kickstarting your profitable course process.
This is something I teach inside of my course profitable courses. I think it's really, really important. My student Kevyn. She said, I got my first person to pay $97 to test my course idea. Honestly, I could cry happy tears right now, knowing that the thing I'm so passionate about and want to help people well with is the thing that people are willing to pay me for. See, you're going to get small wins as you test and get paid to test your course idea. And this is Kim. She says, Molly, I could kiss you on the lips, uh, cheers to writing our own stimulus checks. Six people paid to test my course idea of $553. And this is Holly. She said I made $638 testing my course ideas so far. So as you can see, this is a really great way for you to not only get money upfront, but learn more about your customers.
And like I said, just researching and seeing that there are other courses out there selling means that you can also have your course selling for sure, but this is just a great extra step to really get the ball rolling and really ensure that your course idea is going to be profitable.
So to recap, you learned how to brainstorm for our course idea and narrow it down to one by researching it, and then how to test your idea. But you may be more of a workbook person like me. So if you liked the questions that I asked you at the beginning, if you want more prompts to help you brainstorm to help you come up with more course ideas to help you narrow it down to the one that feels really, really right for you, then go ahead and click the link below because I have a workbook for you that has tons of different prompts that you can work through to really narrow down the course topic.
How to find your course idea workbook: www.profitablecourses.com/opt-in
I call it riches are in the niches, my exact method for choosing your profitable course topic. So you're going to get a workbook of questions to help you narrow down your profitable course topic. You're going to get examples of other successful profitable courses. You're going to get the next steps for building a profitable course, and you're gonna get my story on how we build our profitable course in a super weird niche to $2 million in two years.
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