Online course creators wear many hats and have to master multiple skills to run a successful online course business. If you’re looking to expand your business from self-paced courses into the world of cohort-based learning, then there will be even more skills you need to master to succeed.
While most skills you have developed as a self-paced course creator still apply, there are a few entrepreneur skills you want to hone to build a successful cohort-based course with tons of happy and satisfied students.
Brainstorming, building, and releasing a successful online course requires a lot of strategic thinking and planning. You have to think about the obstacles your students have and need to overcome. Consider any goals they need to reach, and how you can help them achieve it all with your course.
On top of that, you also have to plan how you will execute your course and bring it to life. This is especially true for cohort-based courses because there are things like scheduling live lectures and planning out interactive lecture material to think about.
Learning to be smart and strategic about how you run your online course business will be the best thing you’ll do for your business. Look at the entrepreneurs you admire and see how they manage and plan their businesses. And then, try out their tactics yourself and see what works the best for your business.
Another entrepreneur skill you want to master to successfully run a cohort is time management. This skill is crucial for running any business because it allows completing any tasks and projects you have going on in time without stress. In addition, good time management skills allow you to be on time with your course and product launches. This can help show your audience that you’re serious and trustworthy.
The cohort-based course brings another set of challenges because of the live lectures and ongoing schedule. Your cohort has a start and finish date. The live lectures include a group of students from all over the world, which all require you to be in top shape when it comes to managing your time.
Your students will appreciate it if you always show up on time when you promised and give them what they were promised. So, mastering time management skills should be your priority before running your first cohort.
Download our guide to becoming an online entrepreneur to learn how you can use online courses to find success.
Community management and communication
Community management skills are crucial for cohort-based courses because you’re teaching your students in real-time. When there is a group of people with different backgrounds and goals, there will always be challenges and disagreements. It’s a natural course of life. So, as the leader of your cohort, you’re going to learn to manage your students peacefully and respectfully.
Live lectures will also require you to be an active and engaging leader who teaches, motivates, and inspires students to reach their goals or overcome obstacles in life. This can be a hard role to fulfill, but it’s also a very rewarding experience. Always be honest, respectful, and straightforward with your students. And make sure to prioritize resolving any conflict that arises immediately.
Sometimes things simply don’t go as planned. And that’s okay. It happens to every entrepreneur at one point or another. So, another entrepreneur skill you want to add to your skill book is the ability to improvise.
Even if you have a plan and a strategy for every lecture, there will be times when you get off track or when something doesn’t work because of technical issues. When this happens, it’s important to stay calm, maybe crack a joke, and continue.
For example: Let’s say you run a web development cohort. Your live lectures include teaching your students how to code a new feature every lecture and then letting them practice it themselves. If one of your students runs into an issue with their code that you cannot help them solve during the live lecture, that’s an unexpected obstacle.
Ask your students for time to look into the issue after the lecture is over and get back to them during the next lecture. And, if you still have time left in the lecture, you might want to invite the students to participate in Kaboom games to quiz them on their coding knowledge.
Even if the lecture didn’t go as planned because you ran into an obstacle that you couldn’t solve immediately, you still managed to make the best out of the situation. And your students will appreciate the surprise of fun interactive learning.
Problem-solving is one of those entrepreneur skills that you’ll be using a lot as an online course creator. You always have to find new ways to solve any issues that arise (and there are always new issues no matter what stage your business is in). Those problems might arise suddenly and unexpectedly with cohorts, sometimes during the live lectures.
Science says that our brains don’t work well under pressure, minimizing our ability to solve problems efficiently. That’s why in school, during an important test, you would forget all the answers you seemed to know just moments ago.
To become a better problem solver, you should focus on practicing mindfulness which you can do by meditating or yoga. Learning breathing techniques can also help with stress management. All this effort will help you be a better problem solver and entrepreneur.
Learning to implement the feedback you get on your online courses is crucial for improving your business. Learn to identify constructive criticism without taking it as a personal attack. But rather, try to see it as something that will make you better at what you do.
One thing that is different with cohort courses compared with a self-paced online course is that the feedback you get on your course material is immediate. Your students will likely let you know how they feel about the lectures during your live meetings. And, if you want to be proactive, you can send out feedback surveys after each lecture to figure out what works and what doesn’t yourself.
So, if you want to run a successful cohort-based course, you’re going to want to learn to implement the feedback as you receive it. This will allow you to give your students the best experience, which will improve student satisfaction and course completion rates and build your credibility as an educator.