How To Create A Successful eLearning Business
Online learning seems to be one of those too-good-to-be-true business ideas rocking the internet. Don’t be fooled by the noise, though. While there are plenty of opportunities to profit from this trend, you need to make sure your online course idea is valid before you dive head first into this adventure. If your course isn’t solving someone’s problem, it will be difficult to make it, to say the least.
So, what are the secrets to creating a successful eLearning business?
Studying The Success Of Others
"Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better." - Jim Rohn
I've recently chatted to 5 successful entrepreneurs who are thriving in the eLearning space to try and gauge more insights into the reality of building a business online. I soon realized we were orbiting the same old truths of kicking off your own project - start small and start with what you know best. But that’s not all.
Here are 5 practical tips from these eLearning videopreneurs:
- “Engage with the users. Give them an outlet to ask questions / comment and interact with the video they are watching. When we have a course by a famous producer, we make sure they are available to reply to customers questions.” - Bryan Spencer, Co-founder of Sonic Academy
- “Keep it simple. You don't need Hollywood-style special effects to create a video that engages. Ours are just Dr. Najeeb and his whiteboard – and it works!” - Zeeshan Najeeb, CEO of Dr Najeeb Lectures
- “Often, you'll find that a small portion of your library is generating the bulk of your business. Focus on making your introductory and most-completed content as good as it can be. You only get one chance to resonate with a new learner, so make sure they don't get frustrated on your platform and that their first experience with your content inspires them to continue learning.” - Nick Roberts, PR Manager at Code School
- “If you're going at your business by yourself, you are the Producer, Editor, Accountant, Janitor, Security Guard, and CEO. Look at what needs to be done, then move the most important stuff to the top of the list. Manage your time by not getting caught up in the little things. In fact, leave the little things for outsourced project-based labor. It's easy to get caught up on things like 'What color should I make the Play button?' and you spend the next 3 hours Googling color research. Those type of things are definitely NOT big-picture items. It's like picking out the tile pattern before you've even built your house.” - Kyle Weiger, Founder of Reflexion Yoga
- “Quality videos and engaging content. Those are the two key elements that consumers seek when deciding whether or not to invest time and money into your product. It's very hard to succeed without them.” - Wayne Eng, Founder of Dance Vision
Finding The Profitable Online Course Idea
"Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life--think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success." - Swami Vivekananda
Or, in other words, don’t try to pull an idea out of thin air. It just won’t work. In my previous blog post on grasping the profitable online course idea, I suggested focusing on “pain points”.
What does that mean?
It simply means your online course should address a real, throbbing problem, mimic the language and thinking patterns of your potential customers, and most importantly - provide an effective solution.
There’s no chance you can have that information in your head, so basing your online course idea on a hunch won’t do you any good.
Primary research is a killer tool to kick yourself out from the limbo state where you’re drowning in the I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing misery. It is also a must-do part of the job if you don’t want to end up talking to yourself.
Here’s an easy self-check to pinpoint who your learners are and what they need.
If you need a step-by-step guidance, take a look at the guide I’ve written on creating and selling a profitable online course here.
Now that you have broadly identified who your learners are, what they need and why they need it, you should dig deeper until you hit the source of knowledge. And there are many ways to do it:
- Scour professional forums and discussion groups for insights.
- Check what ideas are flying around on social media.
- Look at similar courses – who are they targeting?
- Test the audience demand with a guest blog.
- Look at keyword data to see what people are searching for.
- Do it. Pilot the course with a small group of your target audience. Then learn from your mistakes and do it better.
Listen first, act later.
25 Video Course Ideas To Get You Started
Let’s get one thing straight: These ideas are for inspiration only. If you find something that resonates with you, I advise you to take them for a test drive using this exercise and this step-by-step instruction.
- Escaping bad projects: The right tools for idea generation and validation.
- Coaching your employees: Motivating through the power of feedback.
- Stop the procrastination: How to fuel productivity and get things done in a small team.
- How to implement an effective 360-degree feedback system for start-ups.
- How to get a promotion and a raise in 6 months.
- Avoid failure: The complete guide to modern freelancing.
- The secret ingredient of empowering your sales team.
- 10 ways of optimizing your blog to increase traffic and engagement.
- No more bounces: How to optimize your website for better conversion.
- How to build a part-time business while keeping your full-time job.
- Hiring in start-ups: How to attract and retain the right talent.
- Design Guide for Entrepreneurs: Aesthetics can make a difference.
- The ins and outs of content creation: How to win new business through content.
- How to stop managing and start leading in small organizations.
- How to turn your knowledge and experience into a profitable business.
- Learning from culture heroes: How to reward and motivate your team with perks and benefits.
- How to clean your life from digital clutter in one month.
- The power of tidying up: Upcycling and recycling.
- Mustering up courage: How to battle your worst fears.
- A philosopher’s guide to modern living: How to gain a different perspective on life in 8 weeks.
- 9 Steps to happy relationships: How to deal with difficult times.
- The winner in you: How to change careers and succeed.
- Cutting through noise: Leveraging your inner circle to succeed in entrepreneurship.
- How to turn Saturday family projects into passive income generators.
- Indoor gardening: Growing your own food and staying healthy.
Need more on how to create your own successful eLearning business? See how these 5 eLearning videopreneurs fought their way to online business success.