It’s not because every serious professional has one. No, you should create an online course because it’s the best way to share your experience with people who love to learn.
In 2015, Arlan Hamilton slept on the floors of the San Francisco Airport because she couldn’t afford a hotel. Fast forward to October 2018, and she’s the head of a multi-million-dollar investment fund that invests in under-represented start-up founders.
Hamilton didn’t go to college. She didn’t have the privileges afforded by affluent, white men in Silicon Valley. How did she do it?
In her book, It’s About Damn Time, Hamilton talks about “becoming money.”
“If you have no assets, you have to become the asset… And the way to do that is through having more knowledge about your corner of the world than anyone else.”
Though she didn’t reach her $36 million fund goal last year, she’s succeeded as the face of venture capitalism that invests in under-represented people of color.
People always want to learn. Whether it’s cooking, dancing, or building an online business, people are willing to pay good money for expertise. Be the best in your field. Then share that expertise through an online course.
The best thing about an online course? You only have to create it once, and you can sell it for years. But that’s not the only reason you should create an online course. Here are 5 other big reasons.
1. Someone Might Need Your Knowledge
Where can you find the best specialists in the world? Trainers, business mentors, writing instructors, etc. that are the “best fit” for you. Educators whose teaching style matches your learning style and personal preference. If you’re super lucky, they’re just an hour’s drive away from your house.
I bet many of these authors/instructors are thousands of miles away from you. That’s why we go to the internet for help.
Likewise, your teaching style is the best fit for someone out there, maybe halfway across the world, who’s struggling with challenges you once had. You don’t need a PhD for this.
I started my blog with a focus on productivity, since it’s one of the biggest challenges I experienced. But I needed something bigger than articles, to get more in-depth on the topic.
That’s how I started my first online course, Procrastinate Zero 2. I have 6 online courses now. These were made to fulfill my readers’ demand for answers and knowledge.
2. Teaching Forces You to Learn Better
Teaching something is the best way to learn. We retrieve useful information better when we explain it to someone else.
When you teach something, you’re forced to look at your knowledge from the ground up: You re-examine the basics to help beginners understand. The more you do this, the more you master your craft.
Here’s another good reason: Teaching something makes you understand the topic as much as you can. Online course students will eventually ask you questions and you’ll want to give excellent answers. No one wants to look ignorant in front of their students!
3. Diverse Skills Increase Career Success
There are geniuses like Elon Musk, Einstein, etc. Then there are those who succeed by developing a stack of useful skills.
Online courses require a diversity of skills to create and launch. You’ll need to know how to create a website to host your courses and build a solid marketing strategy to get the word out. These skills can be applied to other projects in the future.
- Technical Skills – These cover the technical aspects of your online course: website, email, design, videos, etc. You don’t need to be a designer, coder, or videographer to create professional websites and video courses, but you do need to learn the basics. Various tools can help you make the process faster and easier.
- Project Management – An online course is a project, and projects require focus, perseverance, and consistency. Getting things done is a skill. By creating a course, you master this skill and handle projects better.
- Effective Speaking – Online courses are often made of videos. Sure, your course may have downloadable PDF or Word files, but the main format of your course would involve active talking and teaching. Creating a course helps you become a better speaker.
4. It’s Great for Business
I recently read about how two guys took three months and around $1,000 to create an online course on iOS 7 app development. Their course was sold at $99, and it was live by September 2013. They made around $40,000 selling that course.
I’m not saying earning $40K in a month is the ultimate goal for creating a course. You shouldn’t be making courses solely for money in the first place. But this shows that lots of people are willing to spend good money on great knowledge.
More than money, courses impact your WHOLE career. There are many factors that create a career, and specialists succeed by being the authority in their field. That’s how people like Gordon Ramsay dominate the cooking world. Gordon doesn’t just have restaurants; He has books, TV shows, and even an online course.
Likewise, online courses demonstrate authority in your field. They enhance your visibility, credibility, and social proof.
5. You Create Jobs
As you grow your audience and revenue, you’ll be expanding. As you expand, you’ll need more people to do your other stuff.
When I started my blog years ago, it was purely a one-man show. Now, I have a small team of virtual assistants who accomplish various tasks so I can focus on the most important matters of my business (like recording videos for a new productivity course).
This is the beauty of creating a profitable and sustainable business. As you grow, you create good jobs for other people.
It’s All About Expertise
There are tons of free resources that people can access on the internet. Why would students choose to pay for your course, and not others? It’s because of your expertise. It’s because you’re the best fit, and you exceed people’s expectations.
A successful online course takes a lot of work and energy. It’s not something you create for a quick buck.
I didn’t make my courses for the money. I did it because I kept getting similar questions about productivity and online business that I had to fill the demand.
It’s all about value. When you teach knowledge and skills your target students can use, you help them fulfill a need while earning a good income.