I know that you’re thinking “that’s not that easy”. But it’s a lot easier than you think, and don’t forget, everyone has to start somewhere.
Now, you are probably going to say that Episode 1 of your course is going to be fabulous, but, in all honesty — after you go through it, you might not think that. If it is, wonderful — but, don’t build up your expectations and compare yourself to the BBC or something like that.
Remind yourself of this — this course is YOU, teaching your knowledge to people who just want to know what you know. They’re not expecting the BBC, they’re not expecting Stanford University Online Courses, if there is such a thing. They are expecting to learn something from you, so, consider that.
Now I strongly recommend you start with video, although I do ask you to think of how you’re going to do it. The reason for video is because video portrays, not only the information and material but it portrays your personality.
And don’t forget, whilst your doing this course, you’re trying to build your brand and trying to get people to know, like and trust you or trying to further them in that path.
So, by doing a video course, you are adding personality, humor, a smile, looking in the eyes, etc. You get to make people like you–and don’t forget, you want customer that like working with you, you want to like working with them.
What Equipment Will I Need?
To do a video course, you are going to need a video camera. You’ve probably already got one, especially if you have an iPhone, an Android, or a smart phone. They all have a built in camera and video capabilities, and it’s probably good enough.
Otherwise, have you got a laptop? Most laptops these days have got a camera built-in, and it’s probably good enough. BUT — you will need a microphone.
Generally, the microphone built into these is good enough. However, if you’ve heard anything in the background, like when someone is speaking to you on the speaker phone, when they’re sitting on their desk or they’re relaxing of their chair; doesn’t sound quite so good. So get yourself a microphone.
One of my favorite products is a Blue Yeti sold by a company called “Blue”. All their products are available on Amazon in your country. When I’m sitting indoors, I use a “Blue Yeti”, they’re around about $120 or £100 in the UK.
They do offer lower cost ones as well. I’ve also got another one that plugs in the end of the iPhone, and I’ve mentioned before, this audio Technica thingy is about $30.
Again, look it up on Amazon, it is a good place to research this kind of stuff because you’ll see writings from people and whether it works with your device.
But I do recommend having a decent microphone, it helps. Do not overspend though. This is just the start. If you get fantastic at doing this, making loads of money, then it is fine to spend more, but not at this point.
Where Will I Post My Videos?
There are several places where you can host your video. My first choice is YouTube, because YouTube is brilliant, It is totally free.
Of course you can use Vimeo or Vidla or Wistia, Wistia is excellent for training courses but it does cost to use their service. And if you’re going to put a course that people have to opt-in to get on YouTube, you want the videos to be private so they’re not available in your normal public YouTube channel to just everyone.
Once you upload it on YouTube, you’ll get an “Embed Code”. You are going to use this code to send to your customers to inform them that the next course is available.
You’re going to email them, each day through an auto-responder from something like “Aweber” (they will have opted-in to your, “I want your free course”) et cetera. This is where 3rd P of our marketing comes in — Permission.
So if you created a 7 day course, your email might look something like this —
Day 1, here is the first part to my course. You give them a screenshot of the video in that and when they click that screenshot, it sends them to your website where you have embedded the link that YouTube gave you for your video.
(An Embed code is a source of html which you can find by right clicking on the settings button and choosing copy embed code)
It’s the line of code, you just put it on your post, on your blog post because you should be using a WordPress site where it’s easy to do. You just paste in, bingo, its there, ready to play. It appears to be hosted on your site but it’s actually hosted by YouTube for free.
So you give them a little buildup in the email. At the end of that video, I recommend you tell them what’s coming the next day. It doesn’t matter who you do it with, how you do it, that’s the way you put this up, easily, for free!
What if I Don’t Want to Do a Video?
If you are not comfortable behind a camera, I suggest making a Powerpoint presentation but still record it by video. You can use software like Camtasia, which is pay for PC’s. The free version is CamStudio. Another great one is ScreenFlow — that is what we use, if you’re using a Mac.
Again, it’s really cheap and fantastic but a screen capture software is a great way to up your Powerpoint Presentation. By doing a Powerpoint presentation this way, you can be talking over the top and explaining all your screen shares without putting your makeup on.
You don’t have to do your hair, worry about what you look like, be scared of being on camera et cetera. And then just put the words in the bullets as you’re speaking. It’s easy. If you want to do, go and subscribe to John Lee Dumas’s freepodcastcourse.com, he does exactly that.
He doesn’t mind being on camera. Just see how simple it is when he does this. Just go subscribe, it’s not going to hurt you, you can unsubscribe after a couple of days if you’re scared.
Copy his example for creating that Powerpoint Presentation. If you want to do it via email only and with words, then it’s exactly the same process but with no video. But what I recommend, is you start them off and you say, “go here to see the rest of the lesson”.
You don’t want them to read it through just the email, you want them to get on to your website. You want them to get used to coming to your website.
How Do I Get It Designed?
If you are going to be doing a video portion, do not let YouTube choose your thumbnail. You create a “custom thumbnail”so that you don’t end up with a horrible picture of yourself with eyes half closed , mouth wide open, etc.
Take a screenshot of parts of the video, go to Canva, put some text on it, and then upload it to YouTube as your custom thumbnail.
If you are not sure how to do it, just Google, “how to create a custom thumbnail for YouTube”. It will be online somewhere for free, someone will have created a how-to video.
So, if you’re doing an email, be sure to keep your design consistent across the board. Use the same design that you used for the sign-up, the way you got them to sign-in, keep it consistent with that.
You can have a book cover made by going to fiverr.com and hiring someone. It’s really easy and only costs $5. You can’t go wrong. If you don’t like it, go to someone else.
How Do I Launch My Course?
The best thing to do is don’t forget to tell people it exists. Social media is one of the best ways to get the word out about your course.
Do you have an email list? Send it to them. In your newsletter, send out a special note that you are offering this course. Include it on your page and in your sidebar and everywhere you can.
Tell people that it exists. It’s no good for your course if you are being quiet about it. Everyone needs to know, why would you not get any customers, okay? Tell your friends, tell partners, tell existing customers.
What Happens After They Take the Course?
The most important thing after your customers take the course is to follow up with them. Don’t leave them in the lurch. You’ve got Aweber, and you’ve got an auto-responder. Email them other stuff, what else you do, etc.
Don’t email them office stuff all the time — only very sparingly please. Follow-up by calling them and asking them what they thought of the course.
This is easy. If you’re unsure of how to do it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, my name is Jon and I’ll help you, by putting you in the right direction. If you’ve got questions, I really do answer emails. Just dive-in or find the contact page on the website.
Tuesday Toolbox Tip
If you want to find good pictures or images, make your own image, an artwork in Canva or wherever, I recommend using Dollar Photo Club. With Dollar Photo Club, they call it a club because it’s like a membership cost.
The price is $1 per image but you pay a monthly or an annual fee. You either pay $10 a month and get obviously 10 images per month or you pay $99 a year and you will get 12 months worth of 10 images a month.
They have images, photos, vectors, icons all sorts of pictures. They’ve got thousands to choose from and they are a very good quality. Check them out and let me know what you think.
What would you make your online course about?