You have an area of expertise that you’re passionate about and so much knowledge to offer, so naturally creating an online course may be on your to-do list. Although there are a number of paths to success online, finding the right one for you may take time.
But, not every path has to start clearly and cleanly, but it has to start somewhere. And in the world of online courses, it’s better to dive in than delay.
Small still counts
If you’re feeling hesitant about starting with a full course, you can begin with a smaller offering that doesn’t take as much commitment to create. Hosting webinars or offering coaching are impactful ways of connecting with your ideal client and gathering information about their needs and desires when it comes to learning about your area of expertise.
You can even consider launching a mini course. This is incredibly valuable because you can apply this when it comes time to creating a course that is simply irresistible for your audience. Whatever it is you decide to do, dive in.
You read that correctly: just start. The first step to ensuring your online course success is to simply dive into creation.
What to offer before building your first course:
- A mini course
- Coaching sessions
- Webinars and live streams
- Newsletters and blog posts
- Workbooks, PDFs, and e-books
This might get messy
A common misconception when it comes to creating and offering something is that it should be perfect—or at least pretty close when you launch, which makes sense in theory. If you’re putting your name on a course or workbook that you made, you want it to be stellar.
The problem is then your course, workbook, or coaching offer then gets put on a pedestal. Every action that needs to be taken in order to achieve this is then elevated too. Suddenly, writing the outline for your course can seem like an endeavor (it's not), so much so that you save it for another day. That day can turn into another day, and another, until a month has passed and no action has been taken at all.
Things can (and will) get messy
Instead of focusing on the need to present or start the content creation process in a specific way, take the route of messy, imperfect action. You get to shift the standard from this needs to be near perfect to messy is better than nothing. Creating great content starts with taking some kind of action.
Allow for breathing room with what you’re creating and acknowledge the possibility that in retrospect you might look back and see an area for improvement—not only is that OK, it’s actually a normal part of being an entrepreneur.
In fact, offering your content is the only way to truly get feedback on it. You may see that once you’ve just published your content , things you were worried about didn’t deter your students at all. Or you may even gather some valuable feedback that only improves your work for your next launch.
Ask yourself which regret sounds worse: looking back on a webinar you hosted and seeing multiple places that it could have been better or looking back on opportunities that you could have taken but instead chose not to? Preparing to be an entrepreneur is like preparing to be a parent: nothing can make you fully ready. And in the world of creating successful content, you learn and grow as you go.
Drastic action isn’t needed
Notice what comes to mind when you think about the phrase “taking action.”
Multiple-step endeavors, the need to hustle, and putting in a lot of mental effort are some likely associations. This is because action and doing are highly valued by the fast paced workings of American society.
Today’s work-oriented culture values working hard and working tirelessly. As a result, you might be applying those same standards to what you’re creating—for example, thinking that “taking action” means putting in a lot of time and effort, or that it has to be a substantial step in order for it to count.
In actuality, taking action on a piece of content can be simple, and it can be easy.
This can be the twenty minutes spent on social media engaging with your audience or briefly outlining a PDF workbook. You can equate these smaller tasks to a single brick when building a house—it might not take that much time or effort to lay each brick, but when you do one a day, eventually you’ll step back and find you’ve created a sturdy establishment.
When you redefine what it means to take action, you can feel satisfied in any type of step taken, even if seemingly small.
Urgency is key
The effectiveness of taking messy, imperfect action depends on your sense of urgency and consistency. Ask yourself what type of action can be done today, and make it a point to get it done.
If you find yourself procrastinating, you can set a deadline daily or weekly to help curb this. If overwhelm or imposter syndrome is creeping in, then start by taking “small” actions.
This can look like:
- Posting on social media
- Sending an email of introduction for a potential collaboration
- Scribbling down course ideas
- Making a rough outline for a workbook
- Choosing a date and time to host a webinar
The imperative part is that you do it with thoughtful haste. The action doesn’t need to be monumental—quick and easy action counts just as much and is arguably just as essential as some of the more time-consuming tasks. Be mindful of your internal monologue around this, too.
It’s common for guilt or feelings of not doing enough to arise on the days that you take smaller actions. If you find that’s the case, remind yourself that taking action is a win in and of itself, regardless of what immediate result it produces.
Whatever it is you decide to pursue first, whether that’s offering coaching or a full course, evaluate what step you can take today in order for that to become a reality—and dive in.
How do you dive into content creation for your course? Share your best secrets below.