The great advantage that real estate brokers and agency owners have as online course creators is that they already have a background in marketing, sales and communication. When you have a marketing and sales background, you understand the need to have a balanced blend of development across the 3 marketing methods: Inbound (content marketing) Outbound (prospecting) Relationships (interacting with real people) Creating online courses as part of your marketing mix checks all the boxes in terms of marketing methods. If I were to advise real estate business owners like you to make just 3 online courses, these are them (*Watch the video above to get more detail about these 3 courses you should make) … 1) For Sale By Owner Course This course attracts leads from and adds value to a group or market segment who may not be initially interested in your business. 2) First Time Home Buyer Course This course gets you involved on the buyer side. 3) How To Sell Your Property For Maximum Profit This course gets you involved on the seller side. 3 More Tips It’s more important to make these courses free and prioritize a large user base over creating an additional income stream. You can shoot the video lessons on your iphone, or you can go professional and hire a film crew. Both ways work. The best option depends on your budget. Quality content is more important than production quality in online education. If you are ready to learn new skills, it is perfectly acceptable to roll up the sleeves and learn the new skills required to build a real estate online course delivery system or learning management system “LMS.” If you are interested in having a professional put together your online real estate education platform, click here for a special video message and contact details.
Language learning is a huge industry Business Model #1 – The Niche Language Learning MOOC A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. A niche MOOC is where you focus your course or learning platform on a very tightly focused unique topic and audience that is not general in nature. Traditional in-person schools cannot focus in this way due to supply and demand economics, but when you have the whole world as a pool of possible prospective students, you only need approximately 100 or more people with a common interest to develop a viable niche online learning program and business. Business Model #2 – Blended Language Learning If you are teaching language in person one-on-one or in a classroom, you can grow your potential number of students or reduce your direct time involvement by blending online training into your teaching methods. Not all language learning has to happen face to face in an active manner. Instead of teaching the same curriculum exclusively over and over again in-person, you can package that teaching into an online passive video course and use that to supplement your in person language learning material. Business Model #3 – Flipped Classroom Language Learning A flipped classroom is built around the concept of letting the student take the lead in their education. The teacher then comes in to be more of a support role or facilitator. In language learning, the flipped classroom is created by making an online course with the bulk of the learning content. Following that, the students then meets with the teacher either in person or online to review material or get help where they are stuck. Next Steps After Language Learning Business Model Selection… If you are ready to learn new skills, it is perfectly acceptable to roll up the sleeves and learn the new skills required to build a language learning online course delivery system or learning management system “LMS.” If you are interested in having a professional put together your online language learning platform, click here for a special video message and contact details.
If you’re a musician looking to create an online course, it’s important to put some thought into what your new training offering will look like. How would you approach the following 3 considerations? … 1) Think about the venue Classrooms, studios, and making house calls are not the only viable venues for teaching music. In the digital world, there are powerful digital spaces to teach from like a … Website Skype Zoom Google Hangout The venue is an interesting topic because in the physical world it may be costly, have capacity constraints, and time constraints. In the digital world, venues are relatively cheap or free and can even have unlimited capacity. 2) Are you teaching in an active or passive method or both? With online courses you can create passive lessons where the teaching is delivered through video, audio, text, and/or images. Creating your passive course materials is sometimes referred to as instructional design. An active method would be teaching live in person or through a live digital meeting. Active teaching involves your direct involvement. It cannot happen if you are not present. Active and passive-active combination methods have higher perceived value so you can charge more for the course if there are some active elements. Depending on your priorities you may prefer completely passive methods so your direct time is not required. Or you may prefer some active involvement so you can charge more and work with a smaller select group of people. It’s all about you and your priorities. 3) Should you develop the online education platform or hire a professional? Did it take you a while to master your musical talent? I bet it did. The same is true for technology. If you are ready to learn new skills, it is perfectly acceptable to roll up the sleeves and learn the new skills required to build an online course delivery system or learning management system “LMS.” If you are interested in having a professional put together your online music education platform, click here for a special video message and contact details.
The 3 Health and Fitness Expert Advantages in the Online Course Space There are many different types of instructors or topics in the online course space. “Health and fitness” as a niche is full of people with some unique advantages. Here are 3 stand out advantages if you are or could be a health or fitness guru … 1) You have hard won expertise as someone who has undergone your own health or fitness transformation. Most great health and fitness gurus are good teachers because they have a history of going through their own personal journey. They know what it’s like to start at the beginning. This helps with developing resonance and beginners mind when interacting with and creating learning content for their ideal learner. 2) If you’re already teaching your material in person, you know what it takes to design a successful program with real people. The big opportunity for in person or brick and mortar health and fitness businesses is to scale their methods with online training. But before the scaling online, it’s important to note that some people have skill and expertise, but aren’t necessarily good teachers. But many health and fitness advocates have a lot of experience teaching others face to face already. This is a huge advantage when it comes to instructional design and delivery of an online course! 3) Healthy fit people have above average levels of passion. When human beings are healthy and fit, it’s often accompanied by a glowing healthy presence and above average levels of energy and intensity. This passion and aptitude for endurance is key to launching an online training program and motivating students. The passion is fuel and the endurance allows for survival during the challenging parts of launching an online course business. The Health and Fitness Online Course Opportunity There has never been a better time to create a viable online courses business around your health and fitness micro niche. We’re not talking about niches here. The opportunity is in micro niches. For example the “vegan lifestyle” is a niche, but “vegan bodybuilding” is a micro niche. Mainstream universities can’t teach everything. There is only so many students who will sign up for specific niche or academic department course offerings in a physical location. However when we remove the constraint of geography, we can niche down to a much deeper layer. If you have a solid course in a micro niche, like a chi running training program for ultra endurance athletes, and charge $100 for that … you only need 100 people from all over the world to have a $10,000 business. If you have 1,000 students, you have a $100,000 business. Don’t be afraid to develop a micro niche offering! If You are a Health and Fitness Guru, Here’s What I’d Like You to Do Next … If you’d like to take the fast lane to launching your high impact health and fitness course the right way, click here to see a video message with next steps.
Are You Some Kind of Business Expert Considering Creating an Online Course? You’re probably already aware of the opportunity to create more impact and income through online courses. You are a business person so you see the opportunity. But can you pull off a profitable online course? There are 3 areas you need to focus on in order to stack the odds in your favor to have a successful online course project … 1) Valuable Expertise In order to teach business, marketing, or leadership you have to have passion, life experience, and skills. You don’t have to be the best in the world. You just need to be further along than the group of people you intend to help. Know your value! 2) Instructional Design Packaging your learning content so it’s consumable in the digital world is key. You have to take your student on a multimedia engaging learning journey. Multimedia learning content is made up of video, audio, text, and images. You could even blend live interactions into the learning journey if you’d like. You can increase engagement and motivation through achievements, automated personalized emails, and certificates. How will you package your learning content? 3) Online Course Delivery System or Learning Management System The last step of launching your online course is loading you learning content into a system that will deliver it. You need a website that is capable of selling, protecting, and delivering your online course. Where Do You Go From Here? If you’d like to take the fast lane to launching your course the right way, click here to see a video about the next steps …
1) How Much Money Will I Make with My Online Courses? You can expect to make anywhere from $0 to Millions from your online courses. According to Udemy in 2015, their top 10 online course instructors made over 17 Million USD. The average online course instructor brings in $7,000 on Udemy. Rob Percival, a former high school math teacher from Cambridge, England, netted over $1 million in the last nine months of 2015 with his online courses. As with any pursuit, there are online course creators who can’t get their business off the ground and don’t make a single sale. There are education entrepreneurs that produce a nice side income from their online courses. And there are the top achievers who are wildly successful with their online courses. 2) What are the Technical Skills Required to Create an Online Course? So you’ve got skills, passion, and life experience. Now it’s time to translate all that accumulated value into an online course. There are two areas of technical skills that will be required to successfully launch your course: Creating the learning content (instructional design) Creating the learning content delivery system (online course or learning management system – LMS) We’ve seen a lot of would-be online course entrepreneurs fail because they underestimate the importance of the skills in building the online course delivery system. But first allow me to address the first skill set of creating the actual learning content. The online course entrepreneurs that we’ve seen excel fall into one of two categories: They have their learning content ready to go They get resourceful and get help creating videos, audios, downloadable resources, and sign up with an online meeting or webinar service for their live components Now in terms of the skills required to create the learning content delivery system or LMS, I’d like to tell you a story… When I was a kid, I walked deep into the woods, determined to build a log cabin on my own. I had a bow saw to cut up trees, some nails, and a hammer. I started cutting and laying the logs down criss-cross style to form a square. After a day of work I ended up with some logs stacked up 4 feet high. There was no roof, no doors, and no window. It was more like a fence than a log cabin. I thought I could build a log cabin based on the ideas in my head, but it wasn’t as easy and as intuitive as I thought it would be. The lesson is that to build a decent log cabin, I would need to invest years in training and study or hire a professional. Later as an adult, I wised up and hired a professional builder to build my first log cabin. The picture here is the exact cabin I had built by a professional builder. Many education entrepreneurs make the same mistake I did when I was a kid. They try and build a learning content delivery system as if they were a seasoned pro at that skill set. Just like it’s true that home construction materials continue to improve, the tools to deliver online training continue to improve and become more accessible to the do-it-yourselfer. But all this awesome technology doesn’t mean you should roll up your sleeves and learn an entirely new skill set. To get good at building an online course delivery system with content that is optimized for engagement may take you years. What is the opportunity cost of all that time? How much money are you wasting trying to figure it out on your …
Do You Need a WordPress LMS Theme, a WordPress LMS Plugin or Both? In 2016 you need both, and here’s why … In the WordPress space, functionality belongs in plugins and design belongs in a theme. Why the LifterLMS LaunchPad Theme is the Best Theme to Go with the LifterLMS Plugin … The LifterLMS LaunchPad theme enables you to modify the design, layout and typography of your online courses website. If you want a highly customizable theme, LifterLMS LaunchPad is definitely for you or your next client project. In this LMScast episode, Joshua Millage and Chris Badgett discuss the WordPress LMS plugin vs. WordPress LMS theme debate in more detail. They also discuss the arrival of the LaunchPad theme into the LifterLMS suite of products. The LifterLMS LaunchPad theme is a great option for you because: You get powerful theme options where you can adjust the key areas of your website without needing to know how to code and without needing to hire a specialist. You get a theme that gives you point-and-click design control over all the custom elements that LifterLMS LaunchPad creates. This includes the courses, lessons, course tiles, student dashboard (My Courses), and checkout pages. You get access to the Google Web Font library so you can easily bring in new fonts to match your style and brand. As a WordPress LMS theme, it’s important to note that the LifterLMS LaunchPad theme can be used to build an attractive website even if LifterLMS is not installed or you don’t have your online courses set up yet. Here’s a quick video tour of the LifterLMS LaunchPad theme options in the 1.0 release So What Can you Build with a Powerful Point and Click Design Tool like LifterLMS LaunchPad? The truth is that it’s difficult to demo a site with LaunchPad, because with such an expansive theme options panel, there are unlimited number of designs and layouts that you could create. If you look at the LifterLMS LaunchPad Demo, you will see just one possible configuration. Is LifterLMS LaunchPad the right WordPress LMS theme for you? It depends… For some people who may be very new to WordPress and working with themes and plugins, LaunchPad may have too many options for the newcomer to WordPress implementation. For those people who are new to the technology or who are very protective of their time, the LifterLMS Boost (Done-For-You Setup Services) might be a much better fit. The Boost services work best for already successful businesses looking to grow to new levels or take their offline teaching into the online space. If you’re already happy with your website, you may not need to change themes. What we see many people do is to keep their main website as it is, but then they spin up a new LifterLMS + LaunchPad powered website on a new URL (mywebsiteacademy.com) or subdomain like (academy.mywebsite.com). If you are curious if the LifterLMS LaunchPad theme might be a great fit for your project and you have questions, you can contact the LifterLMS team here. Let’s make great courses together!
Our friend Janelle Allen is the founder of Zen Courses, and she’s an incredible thinker in the online space. We asked her to write a guest post for us about ways to make your online courses more actionable, so check out that wisdom from Janelle in this post! Three Ways to Make Your Online Course More Actionable Online courses are all about action. In fact, it’s one of the key things that sets them apart from passive learning tools like ebooks or lecture-based webinars. And yet, when it comes down to it, we often struggle with building action into our courses. Have you ever experienced this? Have you ever outlined the topics you wanted to cover in your course–even organized them into modules–only to realize you have absolutely no idea where to start when it comes to activities? If so, don’t worry, it’s a pretty common thing. Just take a look at many online courses out there and, like a lot of in-person classes, they tend to focus on one thing: lecturing. There’s slides. There’s videos. There’s screencasts. But they all amount to one thing (wait for it): lecturing. On their own, lectures can be, well, dry. The magic happens when you combine your lectures or presentations with activities (and ensure that both support learning outcomes). Because activities help your students succeed and help you become a better teacher. So the million dollar question is: how do you make your online course more actionable? How Do Activities Help You and Your Students? Before we talk about strategies for making your course more actionable, let’s clarify how activities help your students succeed and how they help you become a better teacher. It all comes down to delivering results: Activities Help Your Students Succeed by: Keeping them engaged with the material Helping them apply the concepts Identifying areas where they may need more instruction Activities Help You Become a Better Teacher by: Supporting your course’s learning outcomes, which means you deliver results Breaking up big learning goals into smaller chunks so your students don’t get overwhelmed Providing insight into what your students struggle with, so you can offer guidance Online courses have a reputation for low completion rates. These are just some of the ways activities help you increase your course’s rates. Three Types of Activities to Use in Your Online Courses #1: Quizzes In online course nerdland (you know, where I live) we call quizzes formative assessments. It’s a fancy way of saying quizzes help you see (assess) how well your students understand the information during the course, instead of waiting until the end. Quizzes aren’t a way to have your students apply complex concepts. Instead, what they are is an excellent way to help your students check their knowledge or comprehension of a topic. In other words, quizzes indicate where you may need to provide additional instruction or support. Let’s recap. Quizzes: Work well in courses that present a lot of information or complex concepts Help your students check their knowledge in a certain area Helps you identify challenging topics that would benefit from more activities #2: Task-Based Activities What if you want to teach an online course on coding, carpentry, or knitting, for example? These are hard skills (also called practical or technical skills). With any skill, the only way to learn it is to do it. Skills require practice and repetition. Would it be easy to create a note in your course that says “go do X” and assume that your students will know what they’re doing? Sure. But what if you want to make sure your students …
Another evolution of LifterLMS is hot off the press. In LifterLMS 2.3.0 I’d like to focus on 3 new areas that you can enjoy. 1) A New Engagement Trigger for Purchases of Courses or Memberships One of the many things that makes LifterLMS stand out above other WordPress LMS and online course solutions is our focus and commitment to making courses and online learning in general more engaging. You can now trigger a LifterLMS engagement (achievement badge, personalized email, or certificate) off of a course or membership purchase. For example, you could deliver an achievement badge immediately after purchase to help build excitement in your learner. If you want some achievement badges to get started with, check out the badge packs that come with LifterLMS Pro. You could also have a personalized onboarding email go out immediately after purchase to guide your new student on what to expect. Think of it like an orientation of sorts. Let’s say that after 30 days from purchasing a specific course, you would like to have a personalized email automatically go out promoting another course you offer. Now you can do that! 2) Enhancements to the Engagement Delay Just like in the example above where we’re sending out an email 30 days after the purchase of a specific course, you can control the engagement delay. There’s no limit into how creative and strategic you can get with your engagement plan. We encourage you to think about your learner’s journey over time and use engagement delays to spread out the experience and interact at key points in time that you find work well to create the most powerful learning experience and drive your education business forward. 3) A Complete Overhaul on the Engagement System One of the great things about the LifterLMS project is the growing community that surrounds it. We are on this journey together as your technology partner. You give us feedback and help identify where functionality needs improvement, and we listen to that. I’d like to extend a warm thank you to the community for helping us refine and invest in optimizing the engagement system into a more unified whole. You’ve helped us identify and fix some bugs in this area. We’re not perfect, and we appreciate you pointing out where we may need to adjust something. So thank you again for engaging with us with your needs and experiences with our technology. If you’d like to connect with us at a deeper level and help support the LifterLMS project, consider investing in LifterLMS Pro so you can get priority support, live access to weekly development office hours, and other goodies. Let’s make great courses together!
This week we rolled out LifterLMS 2.2.2 We’re excited and honored about the support pouring in from the WordPress community that is translating LifterLMS is into new languages other than English. We’ve just released an Italian translation (thanks to codeat) and a German translation (thanks to Netzstrategen). By the time you read this, we’ll have rolled out LifterLMS 2.2.3, which includes the German translation. The new version of LifterLMS also includes improvements to how quizzes are timed, and we’ve added the ability for you to add HTML to your quiz question answers. As an example, you could now add images as the question answers with HTML. Also for those of you using a LifterLMS membership to lock down and protect the entire site beyond the sales pages, we’ve made it possible for you to have a Terms and Conditions page that bypasses this restriction. And here’s a video tour of some of the highlights of the recent LifterLMS releases … You can read more about what’s new in LifterLMS 2.2.2 and 2.2.3 in the LifterLMS changelog on the product roadmap page. But Wait, There’s More … We also rolled out a new version of the popular LifterLMS MailChimp Extension. The most anticipated new feature is that users who join memberships can now also be added to MailChimp lists or groups. We’ve also fixed an issue where the auto enrollment feature (where you can automatically enroll users in specific courses when they join a membership) now correctly syncs users to the appropriate MailChimp list or group. And in a similar vein if you manually add a student, that user is now correctly synced to MailChimp. Thank you to the LifterLMS community for helping us continually improve and evolve our learning software! If you are not using an email marketing tool in conjunction with your LifterLMS site, I would encourage you to check out what’s possible with the LifterLMS MailChimp Extension. Let’s keep making great online courses together!