Creating and selling online courses can be a great way to monetize your expertise. Often portrayed as the ‘holy grail’ of online passive income. Anyone who follows online entrepreneurs such as Amy Porterfield and Pat Flynn will have observed their success at selling courses 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 go about creating your own online course? Can you repurpose content in order to create a course? Can you repurpose your courses?!
Thankfully, my guest on the podcast, 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
I caught up with Teresa to see how she repurposes content for online courses when 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 online courses?
It’s 2019…everything is online these days isn’t it! We do our banking online, we order groceries online. So it makes sense that where possible, we’d rather take an online course than have to turn up to a physical classroom.
As a learner, online courses allow you to learn from the best in the world, in 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 I spoke to Teresa she explained that when she decided to enter the world of creating online courses, she knew that people could be put off by monster packages. Especially courses with hundreds of modules that would take up hours and hours of peoples’ 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 the course in one sitting, you’d be able to get through it in an hour or so.
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 new skills or knowledge that they can implement that will help them overcome their problem, then the course is 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 rates 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 (my 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 repurpose content to create online courses
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 that 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.
Thankfully, Teresa put on her repurposing ‘hat’ and made life easier for herself.
When you’re planning out a course or a new piece of content, it’s so easy sometimes to try and reinvent the wheel. Instead, why not have an audit of what content already exists and can be used in it instead?
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 repurpose content to create online courses.
Repurposing free content for monetization
Teresa and I discuss on the show how sometimes people get a little nervous when they include assets in paid content that they’ve previously given away for free, whether that’s a free download, a blog post or a training session. The thing to remember is, you are putting all of this information in one place in the order that people need it.
You can’t put a price on providing the essential steps that will get your students from the start to finish of the course with your guidance…well I guess you can and that’s my point! Assembling free content together and providing a roadmap to success based on your expertise is what people are paying for. People want to skip trawling through free content and have ‘step-by-step’ guidance instead.
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.
By going through this process, the chances are you’ll stumble upon a piece of content that you’ve 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 realise that she had the perfect opportunity to create a podcast about it as well as a lead magnet. This means that 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
Teresa has found that tactically giving some of her online courses away for free has 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 whereby 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! How, I hear you ask! Well, she filmed her presentation and the video was played to the event attendees from the stage! I’m kind of imagining it being like in Star Wars where Obi-Wan turns up as a hologram, but I don’t think it was that futuristic, I think they used a big screen on 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’re sitting on plenty of content, but you find the idea of creating your own courses overwhelming, as mentioned above the key thing is not to look at the premium online courses out there and assume that they’d always been at that standard – and therefore your course must be too.
Instead, go simple and go 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 don’t want the most time-consuming way to learn what they want to learn, they want the most simple and straight-forward way.
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.