If you’ve spent any time at all in the world of online entrepreneurs, you’ve likely seen a plethora of online courses being sold.
You may have even have had the thought “I should create an online course?”. Maybe you started thinking about how easy it would be to make money while you sleep.
But have you thought about what it really takes to create a course?
As easy as it all may seem, it most definitely isn’t. It’s not just about slapping together some content and calling it a course. Course design takes effort and planning, and for it to be successful you need to have valuable content that people will actually want to pay for.
Before you go running off to create an online course, I’m sharing some food for thought about why an online course maybe isn’t the passive income dream you may think it is.
Here are three reasons NOT to create an online course:
#1. It’s Too Soon
If you’ve been in the services business a long time, you probably already know exactly what your course would be about.
But that doesn’t mean you’re actually ready.
Coming up with the idea and the content itself is the easy part of creating an online course. If you’re skilled and experienced at what you do then figuring out what to talk about is a walk in the park.
What many people fail to realize (or the thing some online personalities don’t tell you), is that you need a much bigger email list than you think to make an online course successful.
When you’re running a services business, you usually have a small or nonexistent email list, and that’s totally OK! But if you’re going to launch a course, that’s simply not going to work.
Selling a course – it’s allll about the numbers. You need to be able to make the math work for you if you’re going to succeed.
A very conservative conversion number for selling a course is 1% of your list. So if you have an email list of 1000 people, that’s maybe 10 that will buy. Shocked? Depending on your industry you may be looking at as low as .5%.
When you factor in the time and effort to create the course, then to launch and market it, then to handle any customer service related inquiries, it becomes even less appealing.
This is not meant to be doom and gloom, but rather to be an eye opener so you know what you’re getting into. The truth? You need to have a pretty sizable list of the RIGHT people that have the means and desire to buy your course for you to make the math work for you.
#2. It’s WAY More Work Than Anyone Ever Realizes
Please believe me on this one. I know because I’ve created a course. I’ve actually created a pile of them and worked with many, many clients on their courses.
Creating an online course is complicated and has way more steps after you build an audience. You need to actually create the course and the content which is time-consuming. Then you need to brand it, market it, launch it and sell it.
One of my biggest course launches consumed my life for months. Sadly, this was at the expense of my client revenue as I said no to many great potential clients in favor of our course.
While I consider that launch a success, it cost me on many levels.
Here’s the truth: most people don’t launch and get hundreds of people right out of the gate. They only get a few people. This is why you need to figure out if it’s worth it before you jump in and invest all that time and money.
I literally have this conversation multiple times per week about launching a first course and I want to save you from making an ill-formed decision.
At the very least, I want you to go into it realizing how much work this is and what you may be giving up to create and launch a course.
#3. Launching is Hard
Let me say it again. Launching is HARD. Like, really really hard.
As someone who has run dozens of different launches behind the scenes, including the ‘notorious’ 6 and 7 figure ones, I can tell you it’s no picnic.
Having a smooth launch is certainly not impossible, but it’s NOWHERE as easy or glamorous as the online marketing industry would lead you to believe. There are many moving pieces – from email content to Facebook ad plans to landing pages to follow-up sequences, lead magnets, shopping carts and so much more.
All. The. Details.
Add in the fact that if you’re not technically inclined, it’s going to be even more challenging as you’ll need to outsource a lot of the work. Not only will that cost you a pretty penny but you also now have to deal with another person in the mix and are dependent on them doing what they say they will, when they say they will.
Lastly, the emotional, mental and physical drain is of launching REAL. I often joke with clients that I’m an LLT – Licensed Launch Therapist.
You truly do need a ton of emotional support during and after a launch. (Even if you think you’re fine….you will. It’s inevitable.) It’s hard enough getting through it as part of a team, but if you’re running things solo, you’re carrying that load all by yourself.
All this to say, you need to know the true cost of a launch. The hard costs like outsourcing to experts, software, shopping carts and ad spend. And also the ‘soft’ costs like your time, energy and sanity. Before you decide to do an online course, make sure the math works out in your favor.
Get Into Action
If you’ve got a course idea and you’re thinking you want to launch it, take some time to really consider what I shared above. Money, time, and the emotional impact.
Team Scoop isn’t anti-course or program, but we do want to save you the struggle of doing it because you’re not fully informed and looking for an overnight success.