Online courses are ubiquitous at the moment, covering a HUGE range of topics.
As a matter of fact, if you aren’t currently producing an online course, you may be one of about three people (including us) who are not, and for all we know, you are thinking about it, or at least seeing enticing ads in your social media feeds that talk about how easy it is – if you’ll just enroll in this or that online course in order to learn what you need to do and how to go about doing it in order to create your own online courses.
Need to learn Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, or Procreate? There are online courses for that. Want to become a master marketer, emailing genius, or teaching titan? There are online courses for that. Decided that your real path is becoming a basket weaver for the most elite galleries in the basket weaving world? Yep, you guessed it, online courses for that, too.
What’s driving this interest in web based education?
The real question here is whether or not people are actually trying to better themselves, or rather, are they just bored to death with their current life? Perhaps they are decidedly less than “social media perfect” and feel that they have to do something to overcome the deficiency, so they’ll zip through an internet academy and re-credential their lives, becoming more glamorous, fabulous and potentially Kardashian famous in the process.
Over the past 3-4 years, we’ve seen an explosion in the number and types of courses offered, and with that an overwhelming increase in the number of edu-interest based platforms that deliver these courses. Whether you’re looking for a SaaS platform, or you want to install your own WordPress based course plugin, it seems that there are nearly as many options as there are online courses available (yes, that’s a lot!); we’ll venture to say that you can find an online class that will teach you how to build and market an online course platform to those who are looking to sell their courses but don’t want to pay through the nose.
At one point, we could swear, this type of hysteria and growth over an online segment was limited to porn or stolen music – or maybe stolen porn later in the history of the web – and it doesn’t actually seem that there’s any relief on the immediate horizon. It’s obvious that there’s an underlying feeling of “something missing” or at least there are enough people willing to put money down on Facebook advertising that it seems like this is the case.
Upstairs, downstairs, upside, downside…
In the meantime, if you want to learn to play the ukulele – or if you want to teach people to play the ukulele – then online courses remain a viable option, provided that you understand how to market them and get actual students. It’s kind of like app development or podcasting, everyone wants in on it until they figure out just how much work and luck is involved in coming up with a concept and a product that people are willing to pay for in large amounts.
[SEE IT IN ACTION: Tap here and schedule a time that works for you – DEMO SIGNUP]
At the end of the day, you’ve still got to find students to buy your online courses, to participate in your FB private groups, show up for your mastermind live events, and so on, or else the few poor saps who did buy into your educational opportunity will feel like they got a bum deal; is it really that likely that your course material is so good that students get enough out of it to not care if they are the only one in class? (I’m doing a bit of polishing up on my Illustrator skills at the moment and I can say that Dan Scott – @bringyourownlaptop on IG – is so incredibly talented as an online instructor that I don’t care if anyone else ever takes his course).
Time to make the donuts…
The big point here is the same one as always – you have to find people to participate before you’ve created a worthwhile enterprise for yourself and as much as you probably hate marketing and advertising, you either have to become part of a platform that markets for you (and takes a big cut) or else you have to do it yourself.
Mobile is the way to go – it’s the most effective, most efficient, most engaging and most flexible way to reach prospects, current students, referrals, etc. If you aren’t using mobile to market and advertise your online courses then you are missing out on a large demographic that’s technology savvy, likely looking for something new to do, and willing to spend money to do so.
Just sayin’, it’s up to you to get your s**t together and enroll some new students into your online courses.