Get Your Piece of the $602 Billion Online Course Industry PieAug 08, 2023
In Episode 63, I share tips and ideas for how to earn income with your very own online course.
Welcome back to another exciting episode in our series, all about earning income with digital products and services. Now before we dig into today's episode, I have a question for you. If I ask you to tell me the size and the value of the online course and e-learning market, what would you guess it is. Is it several million dollars, a hundred million dollars, more? Well, get that number in your mind and I'll tell you the answer in a minute.
But I do want to take you back to episode 62. That's the one right before this one. Now in that episode, I set the stage for what you can expect in this series and that is to learn more about the variety of different digital products and services, including workshops and memberships, coaching, e-books and printables. But today, I'm digging deeper into the topic, the very big topic of online courses and helping you understand how you can turn your expertise into a valuable online course. And we'll get into the various aspects of pricing and formats and opportunities that you shouldn't miss.
So, let's revisit the question I posed in the beginning. How big is this online course market anyway? Well, according to vantage market research, I'll put the link in the show notes, the global online education and e-learning market was valued at, ready for this,198.2 billion dollars with a B in 2022. Now get this, it is projected to reach $602 billion by 2030. I want you to think about that growth. So, in 2022, it was 198.2 billion and that took years to get to that point. And in just a few more years, it's going to, gosh, more than six times that amount, $602 billion. So, this is huge. And it's one of the reasons why I want to share this topic with you. It is a massive industry with a lot of potential. And it was growing fast, but then it went warp speed during the pandemic and there is no turning back. And so many people could be benefiting from this if they had more knowledge about it. So, let's talk about it.
Now, I've always been a firm believer that everyone possesses unique knowledge or experience that others can learn from. And that's where online courses can really come into play. An online course is like packaging your experience, your skills, your know-how, etc., and then giving it to an audience who want to learn that skill or experience. And they probably want to learn it from you because you have something unique to offer.
Now, a lot of people say to me, you know, I don't think I have anything special. I don't know anything special. I don't know if anyone, why would anyone want to learn from me? You know, for example, maybe you're someone who cooks a really great pasta, or you have a green thumb and you can keep plants alive. But you think, well, why would anyone want to learn that? And why would they want to learn it from me when they can just learn that on the internet or from somebody else? Well, it could be that you just have a way of teaching it, a way of sharing your knowledge, a way of speaking or a way of delivering it that people just resonate with.
For example, with me in remote work school, it's not like I'm the only one who teaches remote work or remote business. You can find that just about anywhere. But people like to hear it and learn it from me because of my style or a reason they connect with me. So, I want you to think about, do you have something that you do, or you know, or you love that you could maybe turn into an online course?
Now, I'll give you some inspiration. I've been around these parts, you've heard about me talk about Richard, the 81-year-old artist who, after many years of teaching his art in a classroom, decided he wanted to create a digital course and put his instruction online where people could watch it at any time on his website. So, he was someone who thought, well, I can't really teach this online, why would anybody want to learn it in an online format? And he worked through that. And now he actually built and launched his own online course this summer. I'm really excited for him. So really, you can take just about anything. Like I mentioned, you're a great chef, or you have a special cookie that you make, or you do something fun with pets. I mean, really, honestly, you could do just about anything.
Let's talk about pricing, though. That's a place where people often get stuck. So online courses have a wide range of prices. I mean, they could go as low as $20, maybe even lower. You can find some pretty low-cost stuff on Udemy or LinkedIn learning, but they can go really high. You can have premium pricing at $2,000 or even more. And the price you set would depend on a number of factors. It could be what content you're covering, the value you provide to somebody, maybe the transformation you promised to your members or your students. And sometimes those higher priced courses can offer personal coaching or maybe some other perks.
Now, in my world with remote work school, it is both an online course, meaning someone can take it at their own pace. But I also include personal coaching, really small group coaching where someone can actually get on calls or Zoom chats with me and other members. And we do deep dives into their resume, LinkedIn profile, business plan and more. So, I like a hybrid approach. And I'll talk more about that as we go through the series. Why I think the coaching and online course combined is the best model. Actually, I also have another series that covers that in more depth. So, I'll add a link to that as well so you can listen to those episodes.
Now, one of the reasons I love an online course is because they're really versatile. You can deliver these in a variety of ways. For example, some people like to pre-record everything and that way you have a nice edit, everything's very polished. And when it's pre-recorded, your customers can actually go in and take the course at any time. Maybe they're up at 2 a.m. They can't sleep. They log in. They can take the course. And a pre-recorded course gives you a lot of flexibility because you don't have to worry about being on the hook to get on calls or get on Zoom or Skype or whatever. So, there's definitely some benefits to something pre-recorded. I should also mention that when you pre-record it, you do all the work up front and then it's kind of done. But there are other ways to deliver it like live, meaning you deliver your course live with humans where you have conversations. And this way you can test your material. It also doesn't need to be so perfect. You get the benefit of hearing conversations and questions that come up so that later if you decide to pre-record it, you already know what's coming. You can really use the live version to then come up with a better pre-recorded version. So, think about that. What would work for you?
Another thing to consider is how big do you make this course? And by big, I mean, how long is it? Now, in the old days, like the days when I first got into online courses, well, if I'm really being honest, the old, old days was 1997. But in 2017, when I decided to go digital, there was a movement around having these big giant meaty courses that were hours and hours long because people thought that the more content meant the more value. But now people's attention span is so much shorter that really, it's all about how much value can you deliver in the least amount of time. If you can create some type of learning that's really under 10 minutes per lesson or per module, that's better because, you know, people, we only have so much brain power that we can really lend to learn something new. So, I try to create things that are short to the point and really pack a punch in terms of delivering value in the least amount of time possible.
So let me give you a few key points to keep in mind. If you want to develop your own online course, one of the first things you should do is start with what you already know. What unique skills, knowledge, or experience do you have? Start there. Then think about your niche. Identify if is there an audience out there that would want to learn this, need to learn this. Is there a specific problem that you can actually solve for them or something that you can do to enhance their life? So, for example, if you're teaching art, like my friend Richard, maybe you're not solving a problem, but maybe you're adding something to somebody's life that they've always wanted to learn or do.
Next, as I mentioned, you want to think about your structure and your content, you know, plan out your content in advance. And the easiest way to do this is to think about if you had to explain your steps to get someone from point A to point B at a very high level, like maybe three to seven main steps. Think about that first because it's so much easier to think about the flow of your course, if you start really high level. Next, think about engagement. How do you want to engage your customers or your students or members, whatever you want to call them? Is that going to be through interaction? Are you going to ask them questions? Maybe have a Facebook group like I do where you can interact with them? Maybe you're going to have some fun quizzes or contests. Engagement isn't necessary, but it is helpful not only for your learners, but also to help people actually get through your online course.
Next, you want to think about your technology and your platform. Now, this is a rabbit hole that lots of people go down. There are so many things you could choose out there. So, here's my best tip for you. If you're brand new to all of this, keep it really simple. Don't invest a lot of money into fancy online platforms. You could even do something as some unlisted videos on YouTube. Now, I have a whole thing about YouTube I'll talk about another time. But just in the beginning, think about easy things. Do something live on Zoom and record it.
Next, let's talk about your technology and your platform. That's a rabbit hole that lots of people will go down because there's so many options out there and it's very confusing. So in the beginning, keep it really basic. I say do a little bit of live training or go live with your clients or your students on Zoom or Skype and just record it. Start with that. In fact, we're going to have a guest on the show who's going to share his experience of doing just that in the beginning because we did the launch it lean model, which is one of my models. You'll hear about that in another episode. So again, keep it basic. Don't invest a lot of money.
Next, pricing. I already covered. In the beginning, you might want to consider keeping your pricing low.
I wouldn't say free if you can help it, but just start low so you can do some testing. And then later, you can revisit what do you want your actual retail pricing to be.
And lastly, promotion. You will need to market this course, but we're not going to get into all of that today. The easiest way to market this thing in the very beginning is to tell people that you want to test it and you would like to have an audience there. And you're going to give them a price break, which is why you're going to keep that price low in the beginning. Just so you can get an audience to your course in the beginning so you can get people there, understand how it works, understand the reaction to it, and learn more about how to put it into a package that you can sell later over and over again.
So, creating an online course can be an exciting yet overwhelming journey, but listen, you only have to really do it one time. That is the beauty of an online course is that you create once you refine it a little bit here and there. And it's something you can sell over and over. You literally will have a digital asset that can earn you income over time.
I hope that today's short episode gave you some ideas for your own online course. As I mentioned, we'll be talking about other digital products throughout this series, and we'll revisit this one as well, because I do want to share with you more about how to combine some of these things up and you'll hear from other guests who will share their knowledge with us.
All right, see you next time. Thanks for listening or reading.
Did you know the remote work school isn't just about getting a remote job? I also guide you to take your unique knowledge and experience and help you turn it into a digital service.
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