This article isn’t like the usual posts that I’ve been publishing. The ideas aren’t THAT specific, nor are they actionable.
While this post might not be an actionable “How-to” guide, I promise you that reading this might be one of the most important things that you’ll ever need to do, as you try your hand at becoming an online instructor.
We’re going to talk about your struggles — whether you’ve articulated them in your mind’s or not. These struggles are debilitating and have caused countless others to give up on their dreams. More than just the problems, however, we will also talk about the solutions, and some ideas about why you shouldn’t be paralyzed by any of these problems.
Let’s hop right in.
1. Self doubt. “I’m not an expert enough.”
Others find themselves asking the question, “Do I even have the right to publish this course? I don’t think I’m an expert enough in this topic.”.
Does this question sound familiar to you?
Look. You need to understand that the main qualifier for someone to create an online course is not whether they’re the most knowledgeable about the topic. You need to realize that it’s all about value — value for your audience, that is.
Just because someone is knowledgeable about a topic, doesn’t mean that they can create a value-packed course for their audience. They could be teaching irrelevant aspects about the topic, since they didn’t do enough research to determine what specific aspects of the topic they’re audience are dying to learn about. Or, they could create something that’s overwhelming because they’re teaching every nook and cranny about their topic, when in fact, their audience are just looking for a very specific segment about it.
The other question would be… Will these experts even take the time to create the course? What if they’re working 9 – 5s and are not in the position to create any? What if they feel that creating a course isn’t worth their time since they have a lot of things to take care of in their personal life?
In the situations I described above, your audience ultimately becomes the losers — and we don’t want that to happen, do we?
If you feel at 100% that your course will help solve your audience’s problems, then you ought to create, and publish it. You don’t have to know everything about the topic, you just have to be knowledgeable enough about the things that you are teaching, to make sure that you aren’t leading your audience astray.
Try picturing out 2 online courses. The first course is created by an expert, but the audience couldn’t quite understand the course because the expert used too much technical jargon. In short, the audience got very little to no value from the course.
The second course, however, is created by someone that knows just enough about the topic. The language used in the course is in layman’s terms, so the audience were able to learn a lot from the course. This has led to the audience’s lives changing for the better, since they are now equipped with the knowledge that they needed to solve their problems.
As you can probably imagine, the second course (despite it being created by someone who knows “just enough”) has provided more value to the audience than the course created by an expert.
That being said, do not let the whole “not being an expert enough” rabbit hole impede your success.
2. This is too overwhelming. Where or how do I start?
You’re right, creating an online course has so many facets to it, that it can be quite overwhelming to imagine. You have to write the actual course (you can outsource it if you want to, but I’d advise against that), you have to think about marketing, you have to create a compelling cover design, and you also have to iron out the payment processing details, etc…
Because of how huge of an undertaking it is, people tend to get confused about how or where to start, and how to stay committed in completing the course.
If left unchecked, your being confused and overwhelmed can kill whatever chance you have on creating the course. In most cases, it often causes others to procrastinate, or give up on the idea altogether.
So, what exactly do you do? How exactly do you get over the hurdle of feeling overwhelmed and confused?
I have 1 advise to share to you… Just focus on the next right thing.
I learned about this tip from listening to one of Michael Hyatt’s podcasts.
The idea is for you not to keep on looking at the end result.
You need to stop comparing where you’re at right now in the process of creating your ebook, to how the entire thing should look like once it’s completed. You’ll only be frustrated and overwhelmed since you have a long ways to go.
Instead of constantly comparing, you just need to focus on doing the “next right thing”. If you keep doing this, you’ll surely inch closer to your online course’ completion everyday. You’ll avoid having those days where you don’t end up working on your course because you got overwhelmed (maybe even discouraged) at how far off you still are from completing it.
When using this strategy, you just need to plan one, time and set goals on your drawing board. Once you’ve created your game plan, then it’s all about doing “the next right thing”.
You can evaluate once every 2 weeks or maybe once a month, but don’t keep on checking in on where you’re at everyday.
What are some of the things that you think are preventing instructors (or publishers) from creating their online courses? After having worked with several entrepreneurs, the two struggles that I shared above seems to be on the top two of their list.
Are your struggles different? If they are, please share them in the comments section below.