I am often asked what you need to do to build your online course. What platform should I use? What autoresponder? How do I narrow down my target group...?
Whilst all these questions are crucial and definitely need to be answered, there is one question that is often forgotten in the excitement of creating your course.
What is the right mindset that I will need to actually pull this project through?
What does it take when my initial excitement for the new project decreases whilst the daily work to keep it up seems to be increasing?
What happens when it doesn't take off and I don't make $40,000 with my first course or I don't have 10,000 people on my list within 6 months?
You see lots of promises on the net and when you google "online course building" you can read that
- Tom built his course in 3 days (what kind of quality course would that be?)
- Lisa makes a fortune in residential income after 1 month by selling her course and
- Steph can travel all over the world and enjoy life since her online course is selling by itself.
Although we all like to believe that this is true, the reality is that it isn't.
People who sell courses online did the work;
- they built a great course (yes; it takes more than 3 days),
- they market their course ( that's part of the job) and
- they sold it to the right people (they had defined their target group and helped them along before they were asking to buy).
I do not want to paint a grim future here but let's be honest. It is great work, it is interesting work, rewarding in many ways but it still is work.
So, let me share with you some of the hacks you can use to get your mind set for the work at hand.
1. Be outspoken!
If you have skills and you are contemplating the idea to express them in an online course, talk about it. Share the idea with some good friends, do not ask for their advise (you will get a lot of unwanted and unprofessional input) but tell them that this is what you are going to do. Stand up for your idea, stand up for yourself.
You are daring a new adventure and talking about it will make it become more real and it will sort your ideas. The encouragements of your friends will give you the energy to pursue.
2. Find an accountability partner!
Working alone sucks! At least for most of us. If you feel alone behind your computer and you need to work on your course you should consider working with an accountability partner. Who is she or he?
- An accountability partner is NOT your friend or family member.
- Find a person who also works on a project like you, it does not need to be online course building, but a similar type of work. You want to be invested in what your partner is doing. Working with someone who’s working towards something similar to you encourages healthy, friendly competition and gives you a frame of reference.
- Plan your get-together.
- a regular time to connect
- know in advance how you will connect
- put it in the calendar
- keep your engagement
- Ideally, you have a fixed and regular appointment so you get used to it, but if it’s not planned and in your calendar, it’s not going to happen. You think it will, but it won’t. Treat that time as an appointment with someone that can’t be changed. Once you start changing meeting times or it’s not planned your partnership needs to stop. Most accountability partnerships don’t last because someone drops out. You need to take responsibility and cancel the cooperation. Then you can find someone else who is more compatible.
- Choose one thing to work on at the time. Create good habits by making small commitments. This will allow your partner to do the same and you won't get fed up.
3. Be in it for the long run!
I can only stress again and again that all the stories about creating your course in 3 days and making 10 grand within a week are just that...stories.
It does not matter if you want to get started and build a small course or if your plans are to build the course(s) that will allow you to quit your job, travel the world and become a great benefactor. It will not happen overnight so buckle up and hold on tight. This brings me to the next point.
4. It's a business, not a hobby!
If you plan on taking your hobby or skill to the next level, stop treating it as a hobby, treat it as a business, even if it is a small one. No matter where you want to go, you always need to start from where you are.
You want to build on a good foundation so you need to first take care of that. In a nutshell
- come up with a great idea to market your skills in an online course
- start talking about your project to friends
- find yourself an accountability partner who gets you to stick to your commitment
- start building a relationship with people who are interested in what you have to share (you can get more details in this post https://lianehack.teachable.com/blog/1782256/creat...)
- get feedback from people and use it to start creating your course
- create and market your course
- continue developing your list
- launch again and again...
5. Be resilient!
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity or significant sources of stress. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences.
Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary.
Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn't experience difficulty or distress.
Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.
Factors in Resilience
A combination of factors contributes to resilience. Many studies show that the primary factor in resilience is having caring and supportive relationships within and outside the family. Relationships that create trust, provide role models and offer encouragement and reassurance help bolster a person's resilience, cf: accountability partner.
Several additional factors are associated with resilience, including:
- The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out.
- A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities.
- Skills in communication and problem solving.
- The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses.
You can develop all of these factors in yourself.
Make connections.Good relationships are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Assisting others in their time of need also can benefit the helper.
Avoid seeing setbacks as insurmountable problems.You can't change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events. Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better. Note any subtle ways in which you might already feel somewhat better as you deal with difficult situations.
Move toward your goals.Develop some realistic goals. Do something regularly — even if it seems like a small accomplishment — that enables you to move toward your goals. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem unachievable, ask yourself, "What's one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?"
Take decisive actions.Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away.
6. Be of service!
The idea of building your course should come from the fact that you have knowledge you want to share to help others. I would call this the fertilizer for your project. Don't let it be the money, it's the result. So what happens if you build you whole project on service and helping others?
- Helping others gives you a sense of purpose and direction. You are in it for a greater purpose than yourself, you give a different dimension to your project.
- Altruism is contagious: when you do good upon others, it will cause a chain reaction. Think of the ripple effect.
- Sharing your knowledge over the net comes with a great responsibility. Obviously, there is a difference if you have a creative course about pottery or if you are in the personal development sector where people trust you with their well-being. This means that you need to get it right and that it should be your primarily concern and focus to help these people.
7. Keep it fun!
Don't put your goals too high, you will struggle all along or you might abandon at the first difficulty. Grow into your work. Set SMART goals
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
Your goal should be clear and specific, otherwise you won't be able to focus your efforts or feel truly motivated to achieve it. When drafting your goal, try to answer the five "W" questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why is this goal important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it located?
- Which resources or limits are involved?
It's important to have measurable goals, so that you can track your progress and stay motivated. Assessing progress helps you to stay focused, meet your deadlines, and feel the excitement of getting closer to achieving your goal.
A measurable goal should address questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
Your goal also needs to be realistic and attainable to be successful. In other words, it should stretch your abilities but still remain possible. When you set an achievable goal, you may be able to identify previously overlooked opportunities or resources that can bring you closer to it.
An achievable goal will usually answer questions such as:
- How can I accomplish this goal?
- How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?
This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you, and that it also aligns with other relevant goals. We all need support and assistance in achieving our goals, but it's important to retain control over them. So, make sure that your plans drive everyone forward, but that you're still responsible for achieving your own goal.
A relevant goal can answer "yes" to these questions:
- Does this seem worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
- Does this match our other efforts/needs?
- Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?
Every goal needs a target date, so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. This part of the SMART goal criteria helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals.
A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:
- What can I do six months from now?
- What can I do six weeks from now?
- What can I do today?
If your work remains fun it is motivating and you will want to do more. Now, it remains work but it's innovative, creative, challenging, educating, rewarding work and that's FUN. :-)
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