3 steps to testing digital course ideas

3 steps to testing digital course ideas

For many, the online course is the ultimate eye roll 🙄, just another blogger trying to monetize an audience. But let’s invert: everyone of us has a collection of unique gifts. And if you’re good at explaining things, well on the other side, someone may gladly pay for your expertise. Furthermore, with the changing nature of credentials and expertisetech stack virtually free, not only can you create a class on a limited budget, you also can A/B test your marketing to actually verify and de-risk your class.

On the Rad Awakenings Podcast, entrepreneur and author Sarah Peck described a 3-step process to market, sell, and create a digital offering. True to the career unbundling thesis, this approach doesn’t require a large audience nor a large budget.

Step 1: Data dump your ideas to a notebook

Ideas are the raw materials of any great course. Here’s Sarah on how she starts:

If I have an idea for something, I’ll sketch it out to see if I have enough expertise on, say writing, storytelling, visualization. I’d jot down ideas and say ‘Oh there’s plenty of material here, I know I can do it.’

Step 2: Build a sales page

This is where you de-risk your offering by testing the demand. Sarah recommends a landing page containing:

  • What am I going to give you
  • What are the promises I’m making

And she adds, “if you can’t sell it, DON’T BUILD IT!” Here are a few tools you can use:

Step 3: Don’t fret about list size

So many people (myself included) get mailing list envy. Sarah thinks that you’re missing the forest from the trees with this mindset. Start small:

I sold my first course to 23 people to a list of 100 people. If you have 100 people in a coffee shop, listening to you speak. That would be such a privilege. We always have these macho ‘how big is your list conversations’ and honestly you could do it with your friends and family, quicker than you think. Send them an email and say ‘Hey I’m thinking of teaching a course on Omnifocus or how I turn my Moleskin into a brilliant planner’. Send it out using Mailchimp’s survey tool or even a Google form.

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