Creating and selling online courses can be a great way to monetize your expertise. It's often portrayed as the ‘holy grail’ of online passive income. Anyone who follows online entrepreneurs such as Amy Porterfield and Pat Flynn and likely pondered if they could do the same.
There’s no doubt it’s a great way to help people, share your expertise and generate an income. But, how do you create your own online course? Can you create a course by repurposing content? Could you even repurpose your courses?!
Thankfully, our guest, Teresa Heath-Wareing, was able to spill the beans on how she repurposes content for her online courses.
Teresa Heath-Wareing is an award-winning international speaker, TEDx speaker, trainer, podcaster, author and business owner. She’s noted as one of the UK's top Marketing Influencers and has worked with international brands such as Land Rover, Jaguar, Rightmove and Leadpages. She also has her online membership - The Marketing that Converts Academy - where she repurposes content to create online courses
We caught up with Teresa to hear how to create a course by repurposing content. She shares her methods for working with businesses, entrepreneurs and marketers to help them enhance their digital marketing & social media efforts.
You can listen to the podcast below, or keep reading…
Why create an online course?
It’s 2019…everything is online these days isn’t it! We do our banking online, we order groceries online, and catch up on the new online. So it makes sense that many of us would rather take an online course than have to turn up to a physical classroom.
Online courses allow you to learn from the best in the world from the comfort of your own home. As a content creator, you can reach a broad global audience with your online course. The world truly is your limit!
When we spoke to Teresa, she explained that when she decided to create online courses, she knew that people could be put off by monster packages. Courses with hundreds of modules take up hours and hours of people's time. So, she came up with a fairly simple and quick course to test the waters.
How Teresa created her first course
The key to her first course was to keep it succinct in order to avoid scaring people away and to test whether she had an audience that actually wanted courses. If you were to sit down and take her course in one sitting, you’d be able to get through it in an hour or so.
And that’s fine, because the focus is on teaching the learner how to overcome one problem. If they take the course and go away with the skills or knowledge to help them overcome a problem, then it's a success! It’s not about quantity, it’s quality.
Here are some top tip tips for creating your first course:
- One of the keys to keeping people interested and optimizing success is not just to talk at them for the duration of the course.
- Instead, it’s a good idea to incorporate elements of interaction, whether that be tasks or download worksheets. For example, during a lesson on content creation Teresa gave her learner a list of national days like National Coffee Day (our favorite!) to spark ideas.
- When you create your first course, don’t compare it to other people’s all singing, all dancing premium courses (like Amy Porterfield and Pat Flynn etc). They may be at a pretty advanced stage right now, but you can bet they didn’t start off that way. We all have to start at the start. Don’t compare your first course to someone else’s 50th!
How to create a course by repurposing content
As you can imagine, there’s a lot of work that goes into creating online courses. Fortunately, Teresa was in a position where she’d spent around a year and a half training and speaking about how to create content. As a result, she had already built up a huge amount of content around the subject.
She had plenty of presentations she could refer to and downloads she’d use throughout her sessions. She even had freebies that she’d leave behind at events to help students further their learning. So, she was left wondering, ‘How can I put it all together in a succinct, easy-to-understand, manageable way?’
10 points to anyone who can guess where this is going? Yes, CONTENT REPURPOSING.
But how do you create a course by repurposing content...and should you?
When you’re planning out a course or a new piece of content, it’s so easy to try and reinvent the wheel. Instead, audit the content you already have and think about how to repurpose it for your course.
If you’ve already done some work on the subject, don’t be afraid to re-use it or tweak it to fit the new format. Teresa provides a great example of how you can create a course by repurposing content.
Repurposing free content for monetization
Sometimes people get a little nervous when they include assets in paid content they’ve previously given away for free. It could be a free download, a blog post or a training session.
But remember, you're putting all of this information in one place in the order that people need it. Assembling free content together and providing a clear roadmap to success is what people will pay for. They don't want to spend time trawling through pages of free content if you can provide the ultimate step-by-step guidance with everything they need in one place.
Are you ever nervous to include your existing free content into repurposed paid-for content? Don't be! People want to skip trawling through free content and have ‘step-by-step’ guidance instead.
The chances are you’ll stumble upon a piece of content you used in the past that you think could have been taught in a different way. For example, Teresa has done a lot of work around creating the perfect avatar but had never really taught it.
This made her realize that she had the perfect opportunity to create a podcast about it as well as a lead magnet. If people loved the podcast and how the information was presented, they might be interested in joining the course too.
Repurposing online courses as lead magnets
So, we've covered whether you can create an online course by repurposing content. But what about the other way round? Can you repurpose your online course as well?
Teresa found that tactically giving some of her online courses away for free reaped rewards and generated new business by way of new members joining her online membership. For example, she is speaking at Atomicon event next year put on by our mutual friends Andrew and Pete, and she made a deal with them where anyone who bought a ticket to the event would get her course included at no extra cost. This meant that her course was used as part of their marketing and she reached new people off the back of it.
Teresa shares an awesome story of how she was able to repurpose herself (!) in order to still turn up to an event she was unable to attend in person in Las Vegas. She filmed her presentation and the video was played to the event attendees from the stage.
If people liked the video, which was essentially her course introduction, then the call-to-action was to buy her course. Out of 400 people who were at the event and saw her video, a whopping 200 people signed up for her course! That is incredible.
Don’t overcomplicate it
If you find the idea of creating your own courses overwhelming, the key thing is not to look at the premium online courses out there and assume they've always been at that standard – and therefore your course must be too.
Instead, start simple and small first. If you give your customers exactly what they need, and they leave knowing exactly what they need to know, then you’ve done your job.
People want to learn in the most simple and straightforward way, so when building your course, make it easy for them! And make it easy for yourself as well. You don't need to start from scratch when you can easily create a course by repurposing content you already have. If you feel there are bits missing, then you can always add new content in as well to boost your course's value.
Connect with Teresa
Connect with Teresa over on her website, and on social media – she’s most active on Instagram and Twitter. You should also check out her podcast Marketing that Converts where she teaches marketing tools and strategies that converts, it’s a fantastic show.