Create Awesome Online Courses – Chris Badgett
create awesome online courses
What does it take to create awesome online courses? Well, it takes a lot to pull it off, and that’s why it’s crucial to believe in your mission and have passion.
We interviewed Chris Badgett, the CEO of LifterLMS, which is an online course building platform for educational entrepreneurs. He shares insights on how to get started creating an online course and tricks on how to get that initial traffic.
Despite being the creator of an online course making software, Chris does not advise people to start with the technology tools. Learn more about it through this episode so stay tuned.
Get to know the three motivations behind creating a course
Learn tips on how to get started with building an online course
Know why you should do a small run pilot coaching program first
Testing demand market as the key to creating an online course
Taking in the publisher’s mindset
Know the different indicators of demands and ways to do market research easily
Learn the crucial pieces to constructing an offer
Understand what things you should spend a lot of time on
Learn some tricks to get initial traffic
Impact over income
TRANSCRIPTION: CREATE AWESOME ONLINE COURSES – CHRIS BADGETT
Hey, Thriving Launchers! Do you want to learn how to make passive income and create awesome online courses? All that and more on today’s episode.
Today, we’re here with Chris Badgett. He is the CEO of an online course building platform for educational entrepreneurs that help them create awesome online courses.
All right, Thriving Launchers, we are here with Chris.
Chris, are you ready to launch?
Chris, let’s talk about how to create awesome online courses.
Why even make a course? That just sounds like a lot of work.
I think you do have to have a passion for it.
Different Motivations To Create Awesome Online Courses
I’m a course creator, and I help a lot of course creators, so I see a lot of different motivations behind it. I’d say some common themes I see are one; the creative desire inside the individual that’s trying to get out. That’s a huge motivator to make things and maker if you will, who typically has something they’re super passionate about.
The second one would be ‘impact,’ wanting to make a change in the world around some cause or mission or purpose or helping people in some way.
The third motivator is financial, people looking for ways to supplement their income or build an entirely new career as an online educator.
I am super passionate about things that help us create awesome online courses. Thriving Launchers, you know this. I talk about them a lot.
I’d love to dive in with you some of your pro-level tips on how to create awesome online courses since it’s a topic we’ve talked a lot about at Thriving Launch here.
That’s awesome. Yeah, I could talk about how to create awesome online courses for days.
Create Awesome Online Courses With A Software
I’m the creator of an online course making software called LifterLMS, which is a WordPress base so you can add courses and sell them, and protect them from your website.
My biggest tip is to not start with the technology tools. I see a lot of people start with that, and then they try to mold the course into that.
I think it’s better to start with doing things that don’t scale like doing a small run pilot coaching program around the same result you want to make a course about like the same kind of opportunity. Then, you’re taking people through it live like a small group to test your idea and make sure all your assumptions are firing correctly. Many times, they’re not, and you end up building an entirely different course or a smaller course or a bigger course or teach it differently so doing a pilot is essential.
Get Started To Create Awesome Online Courses
For the person that’s passionate about it and super overwhelmed, what I recommend doing is just starting with one blog post. If you just don’t know where to start, write one blog post on this topic that you’re passionate about. Get up to five blog posts, and then transition to just an email mini-course where you’re getting an opt-in, and you’re sending somebody.
If you have their email address, send them a series of emails that teaches something, that helps them get a real result. Then from there, you can go to like a free course on your website, and you can go to a paid course, and then you can do course bundles, and from there, you can get into memberships.
It’s a progression. Those are a couple of my how to get started tips.
I love that you started us off without saying, “Hey, you need to buy all this expensive software,” because you’re so right.
Roadblocks When Trying To Create Awesome Online Courses
That’s where a lot of people get caught up when they create awesome online courses. It is in trying to develop and put together the most beautiful perfect website or have the perfect funnel set up, and they haven’t even tested it yet.
That is just so awesome to be able to start with something small and grow from there. Part of it is also finding out that there is a need in the market for it. It’s something I’ve even talked a lot about, but I want to hear your side of it.
Create Awesome Online Courses By Testing Market Demand First
It’s just that classic Jim Collins Hedgehog Concept of passion; do you have the skills to deliver it, and is there a business or market demand for it?
Just to take it to a story, when I started to create awesome online courses, I started in the organic gardening and the permaculture niche. What I saw was all these people were flying all around the world to go to permaculture design courses like in Costa Rica, Australia, all over The U.S, and all over the world. They were attacking some pretty giant problems in the world regarding food security, growing healthy food, and bringing good food into cities, and things of that nature.
I could see this massive market that was highly non-technical. In the online courses I did see in the space were absolutely killing it, and they were of not necessarily great technical or production value quality.
I saw the demand and just being someone who is passionate about the topic, but also skilled at using the internet. At that time, I was running a freelance web design agency and understood the basics of marketing.
Create Awesome Online Courses While Adopting The Publisher’s Mindset
Instead of starting to create my first course, which I did build one, I just immediately began reaching out to the best in the world on the topic of permaculture. And basically, I took on the publisher’s mindset where we would go to these live events, film them, convert them into digital courses that were available worldwide instead of some rainforest or in a classroom somewhere.
That’s how I got started with my first-course platform. I learned so much. That project began five years ago, and it’s still a reliable income generator, and I ended up having a lot of great experiences. I’ve spent a winter in Costa Rica filming one of those, but it became evident to me that the demand was there.
Know Different Indicators of Demand To Create Awesome Online Courses
There are all kinds of indicators of demand. You can see counts on YouTube videos and forum activity like free forum activity. A lot of people don’t do that. Look at blog comments, look at the Amazon bookstore and look at the reviews on various books and different topics. You can do some market research pretty quickly these days with the internet. Demand is just such a pivotal piece to create awesome online courses.
What do you suggest once someone figures out that there’s a demand and they’re interested in making a course?
What should they do next?
Create Awesome Online Courses By Constructing The Offer
I think the thing not to overlook and fly past when you create awesome online course is constructing the offer.
Like a good learning offer, whether it’s a membership site, a course, a service, a coaching program, constructing an offer has some key pieces. You need to get very clear on ‘Who it’s for,’ and especially if you’re just getting started, ‘Who your “beachhead market” is.’
This is the type of person who’s going to be attracted to your program, especially if you’re starting as someone without a lot of influence. The early adopter is often different from the majority that will come later.
Key Pieces To Constructing An Offer To Create Awesome Online Courses
Getting clear on who it’s for, what their problems and the problems they’re trying to get away from, and the goals they’re trying to move towards. Have a clear starting point of where your course clicks in, and then also figure out where it stops and what’s the ultimate finish line, and promise there.
And then, getting very clear with yourself like can you deliver that result for another human being not necessarily in the same room? And, if you can, designing that curriculum at a high level to know what it’s going to take, what’s the structure going to look like.
Then, it’s a question of publishing that offer and traffic, which depending upon your resources and what you have available, I recommend a lot of different things.
I would recommend spending a lot of time on the offer, the who it’s for, and why you’re different and uniquely qualified, and then it’s classic. We need to get some sales page up or send some emails. It can be as simple as a Skype account and a PayPal account and then offer a pitch by email the person, a live coaching to validate your course idea with some real people and run a pilot program.
Create Awesome Online Courses By Having Clarity
Getting your offer in your sales page clearly and resonating is the next step.
The big question is how do we sell it? This is something that is a vast topic, but I’d love to hear some of the most successful things you’ve done to market your courses.
Sell and Create Awesome Online Courses
One of my secret tricks is just forums.
There are a lot of terrible looking forums that look outdated that are amazingly active around various topics.
Getting off social media and getting into a forum that’s active around various topics can be extremely valuable.
Finding those and getting off social media, and getting into a forum can be extremely valuable. But, you have to do it before you have something to sell. If you just go there and start banging on the walls with something for sale, you’ve lost, or you’re not necessarily going to get as much attention if you’ve been in there for a month or longer just helping people however you can.
Forums are a big one; social media is cool. Everybody has a superpower.
Create Awesome Online Courses and Do Video Marketing
For me, my thing is YouTube and video marketing. My generic playbook is I will take a course. Let’s say it has 20 video lessons in it. I’ll take the two to four of the absolute best lessons inside the course, then also publish those on YouTube. Optimize the heck out of the title, the description, links to my sessions, tagging it, potentially running additional traffic or YouTube ads on that course to get some initial momentum, posting in forums and relevant places where it’s helpful, and I’m not even pitching the course. I’m just sharing the content.
Forums and giving away some of your actual content, especially in video format is one of my secret tricks for getting that initial traffic.
Create Awesome Online Courses And Give Away Some Of Your Content
Giving away some of your actual content, especially video format is a secret trick for getting initial traffic.
Before we go, any last tips you want to leave the Thriving Launchers with?
Have Passion To Create Awesome Online Courses
In my experience in watching others creating an online course and building a business around that, it’s important that the passion is there and you believe in your mission and what you’re up to because it’s going to take longer. It might be a little harder.
Once you get that escape velocity on the course and it’s performing well in the marketplace, that’s great. But, make sure if you’re going to commit to a course, you’re passionate about it because it takes a lot to pull it off. You will reap the benefits later if it all plays out well but it’s a lot of work.
Prioritize Impact When You Create Awesome Online Courses
Prioritize the impact over the income because if you believe in the impact and that ripple you’re putting out there in the world, that’s what’s going to pull you through that depth as you’re getting it all together, getting it launched, and getting your early traction on the way up to success.
I love that Chris.
There you guys have it. Thriving Launchers, one takeaway that I want to remind you is if you decide to create awesome online courses, make sure to do the research. It’s setting up the stage right. Chris talked about it. I don’t need to say much more on it. And, make sure you have that passion.
Thriving Launchers, we’ll see you on the next episode and keep thriving.