Got a great idea but unsure how to launch your first online course successfully? Read on.
If you don’t have a business background, taking what you’re passionate about and translating that into your first profitable online course seems, at first, impossible.
While it is a daunting task to undertake, there are so many resources available to us (along with other people’s experiences!) that can help guide us through our first stumbling blocks.
With a work ethic based on simplicity and value, Nathan Horne is one of those resources.
Handy How-To’s for Your First Online Course
With an extensive teaching background, not to mention his penchant for traveling and teaching abroad, Nathan Horne was ripe for sharing his experiences.
Armed with a degree and mom’s wisdom, Nathan founded iPhys-Ed.com where he helps other Phys. Ed. teachers to help share their own purposeful teaching experiences.
Nathan loves showing others just how to get things done.
Building the Course
Nathan Horne is the creator of the Creating Game Animations using Keynote course. He hadn’t merely decided on this topic. It was more so that his readership and loyal clients showed adamant interest in the subject. When doing workshops around the globe, teachers would constantly be asking him about the presentation itself and how he was able to get it done.
“At one of the events in the U.S., I even gave an impromptu session on using Keynote for animations for some of the participants at the end of one of my scheduled sessions.”
Nathan is constantly striving for creating value for all. With a combination of videos and text, his content is created and designed with every kind of user in mind.
This hands-on teacher likes to keep things uncomplicated. The process is as simple as someone learning how to navigate Keynote, how to create then animate their graphics, and finally how to share their graphics on social media.
“I have had feedback from students who have already completed the course saying they found it very helpful and easy to follow with its step-by-step nature.”
The platform Nathan uses is called LearnDash LMS for WordPress which helps him deliver his content to his followers. With this platform, Nathan can host all of his courses on his website iPhys-Ed.com.
“I chose this after exploring a few options and LearnDash seemed to be the most appropriate for my needs and easy to use with my current WordPress site.”
As with anything new, Nathan admits to the learning curve he had with getting himself set up with the program. After trying it out, however, and going through the entire process of creating his content, he found it super simple to use. A Basic License, for Nathan, cost $129.
Pricing with Potential Buyers in Mind
Pricing products and services seem to be a tricky challenge for most small business owners. Those of us starting out for the first time or simply going in another direction with a new brand face the daunting task of naming our price.
Nathan’s original price for his course was rather low. After receiving some advice from his friend Jarrod, however, he decided Creating Game Animations using Keynote would go for US$29.99.
Cheap, honestly, doesn’t always mean good. A lower price may have your clients perceive your product to be lacking value. That would be the exact opposite of what Nathan is looking to provide.
“When deciding on the price, I thought about what I would be willing to pay for the course given that the knowledge gained in it would allow you to continue to create your own content well into the future.”
Nathan is looking to help people become independent creators rather than dependent buyers. We may initially think this to mean less money in the long-run but Nathan’s philosophy prompts trust and therefore loyalty from his clients. Now, that’s valuable!
Marketing and Continuous Results
As with most businesses today, not just the ones online, social media is a big part of marketing strategy. Nathan used all of his social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, to get the word out about his new course.
Nathan also used something called ActiveCampaign. This program helped Nathan to automate his emails so that as many people as possible on his email list were made aware as well.
Bombarding random people with emails that simply don’t interest them is not Nathan’s style. At a price of $24 per month, ActiveCampaign was able to help Nathan streamline and categorize the contacts on his email list by their interests.
Nathan was even able to tag people based on their behavior with opening and reading emails or discarding them altogether. With this handy and effective feature, Nathan could tell who was interested in what. His various emails were all able to get to the right people.
“This [ActiveCampaign] has been a huge winner for me as it enables me to target potential leads based on their interests and interactions with our content.”
With keeping ActiveCampaign handy, Nathan is able to continuously deliver specific content to the readers on his email list who are actually looking for it.
“As new contacts sign up to the list, they are tagged and enter automation to provide them with the information they are interested in via email.”
Taking Another Stab at It
What Worked Well
Nathan was able to create and market a course which was obviously a hot topic amongst his audience members on more than one occasion.
Creating a successful course was easy by giving students a guide that was simple enough to follow while still providing tremendous value. Overall, Nathan was thoroughly pleased with the course.
What He’d Do Differently
Remember that learning curve? It taught Nathan that preparing your course content prior to getting the actual course up and running is much more efficient.
Nathan mentioned that when he created content while at the same time hosting the course, managing consistency within his content became difficult. He had to constantly go back and forth within the course to make sure everything flowed well together.
Working out the kinks of your content first gives you space and time (without the deadline pressure of a course already in session!) to create something concise. After that, it’s simply a matter of plugging your content into the platform that will host your course.
Top Tips from Nathan Horne for Getting Started Online
Stay in Your Lane
Think about what Nathan calls your “lane” or what you’ve undoubtedly heard of as your niche. What relevant and crucial need can you provide your community? How can you deliver it in a way that is unique to you?
You can begin to discover how important your knowledge is and also how to provide it in a valuable service.
Earn Their Trust. Earn Their Business.
Too many big businesses and corporations today fail to see the value of building relationships. How you nurture the relationships you build with your contacts and clients can actually make or break your business long-term.
Can you provide a genuine and valuable service in honesty and integrity? Work with the intention of earning your client’s trust. They would then not hesitate to do business with you.
Just Do It.
We all have mental blocks that keep us from plowing forward toward our goals. These blocks are all personal for us but they are also basically mental. You’d truly be amazed at what a simple shift in perspective can do for your business.
“Once I changed my mindset and saw it [Nathan’s course] as an opportunity to help more people, it was a no-brainer.”
Just like Nathan likes to establish concrete relationships with his clients, it was his relationship with his good friend Jarrod Robinson that got him off and running.
“His mentorship has been invaluable, and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him.”
In keeping with our theme of resourcefulness, Nathan also enjoyed reading Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss.
“It has so many great tips from leaders in their field.”
How Resourceful Are You?
How can you use your resourcefulness to bring something valuable to your audience? It’s actually quite fun to get creative with how you can better serve your readership and community.
Want to learn how to automate, delegate, be more productive, enjoy life and boost your profit? Check out our high-level mastermind for educators.