Just last night, I received a phone call from my friend Jeff. He was looking for someone to talk to about his frustrations. The thing with Jeff is that he has been creating courses for the last eight months now, yet he only has a handful of enrollees. I found this to be a bit surprising since he is one of the best online instructors that I know.
Since Jeff and I go way back (we’re basically like brothers), I obliged and met with him at a coffee shop near our place for breakfast.
As Jeff and I started talking, I couldn’t help but ask him about his marketing strategy to increase awareness about his online courses.
After hearing his answer, I was mindblown!
He said something along the lines of, “I don’t take the time to market my online courses. I know that if I just keep on making high-quality courses one after the other, people are bound to learn about them since they provide massive value.”
I cannot even begin to describe how debilitating this kind of mistake is.
It is mistakes like these that frustrate the heck out of online instructors, which ultimately leads them to quit their career. The sad part is, they’re not even aware that they’re doing something wrong.
That’s the kind of problem that we’re trying to remedy right now.
I’m going to share with you some of the most critical mistakes that online instructors make. That way, if you find yourself doing any of these, then you can stop immediately and start doing the things that you should be doing to succeed.
Let’s hop right in.
1. Waiting for inspiration to strike.
Just last week, I was listening to a podcast about how writers can stay productive. While there were several quotes shared during the podcast, there was one quote from Stephen King that caught my attention.
I can’t quite remember what the quote was word per word, but it was something along the lines of, “Beginner writers wait for inspiration, while the rest of us just go to work.”
Stephen King’s quote is powerful isn’t it?
It gives us a clear picture of how even for seasoned writers, the process of writing isn’t all roses and daisies. Even for them, it requires hard work, dedication and a solid enough backbone to be able to drag themselves to write, even if they don’t feel like it.
This is contrary to how beginner online instructors view the process of creating their online courses.
A good number of them tend to think that they should first feel inspired; otherwise, they ought not to waste their time trying to put the course together.
Now here’s the question that I’d like to ask you, “Whose ideas do you think is worth absorbing? Is it the newbie online instructors? Or is it Stephen King?”
2. Using the “Publish and Pray” approach.
What is the “Publish and Pray” approach, you might ask?
It’s simple. You basically just publish your online course, then do nothing else but pray that it gets the traction that it needs.
Look. I’m not against people who pray. In fact, I know how important it is, and I value prayer a lot!
However, you need to realize that the successful online instructors do more than just pray. They also put in the hard work to market the heck out of their online courses, to make sure that their audience knows about the existence of their course.
Considering how noisy the internet is, you can bet your family’s jewels that your online course will only get ignored if you don’t take the time to market it.
3. They price their online courses too low.
I’ll admit that pricing your online course can be a bit tricky. Price your product too high, and no one will want to enroll. If you price it too low, however, your audience might think your course to be worthless. After all, why would anyone price something so low if that something is value-packed, right?
If you’re struggling with the same thing right now, here’s what I urge you to do.
You need to look at how much of your resources you’ve spent creating your online course (and yes, your time is a resource too), how your competitors are pricing their products, and how much value your online course can bring to the audience should they take action on your tips.
While there certainly other factors that you can look into when deciding how much you’ll price your course, the points that I shared above is almost always good enough to point you in the right direction concerning how much enrolling to your online course would cost.
4. Focusing on writing about the things they like. Not about what their audience needs.
I get it. There is certainly value in aligning your course’s modules on the things that you are passionate about, after all, if you aren’t writing about the things that you like, then there is a good chance that you’ll get burned out in no time.
We don’t want that, do we?
However, while you may be correct in writing about the things that you are passionate about, you need to realize that you are creating an online course not so YOU can learn, your online course is for your target audience — you want THEM to learn.
Since that is the case, then shouldn’t you also give emphasis on the things that they want to learn about? Isn’t it right for you to figure out where their knowledge gap is so that you can create an online course that can address it?
Friends, why don’t you do this instead? Why don’t you look for an overlap between the things that you are passionate about, and the things that your audience are wanting to learn? That way, you can be certain that there are people dying to enroll to the course that you’ve created because your target audience needs the information in your course.
Do you have any tips for online instructors?
What are some of the most debilitating mistakes that you’ve done as an online instructor? Please take the time to share them in the comments section below. Cheers!