Consider This If You Want to Make an Online Music Course

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.      

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The Health and Fitness Online Course Opportunity

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.

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How to Launch a Business, Marketing, or Leadership Course

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 …    

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5 Questions Smart Money-Making Online Course Creators Ask (#4 Will Surprise You)

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 …

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Say Hello to LifterLMS LaunchPad, a WordPress LMS Theme

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 http://gocodebox.wistia.com/medias/xus37jn2ra?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=750 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!

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Three Ways to Make Your Online Course More Actionable

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 …

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LifterLMS 2.3.0 is Here with More Engagement Power

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!

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Say Hello to LifterLMS 2.2.2, a MailChimp Extension Release and More …

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!

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2 List Building Strategies to Take Your Email List from 0 to 100 in 30 Days or Less

This post is the first part of a 3 part email series on list building for online teachers. PART 1: [YOU ARE HERE] – 3 Strategies to build your email list from 0 to 100 PART 2: [coming soon] – The Next Level: Moving from 100 to 1,000 subscribers PART 3: [coming soon] – The journey from 1,000 to 10,000 – 3 tactics to get you there We are wrapping up week 6 of our online coaching program CourseClinic. It has been incredible working with course creators from around the globe on how they can build, launch and sell their online courses. In the process of teaching this course, I have found that many course creators struggle with list building. If you don’t have a list, it’s exponentially more difficult to do things like… Test new content and ideas Presell a pilot course Launch an evergreen course Today I am going to outline 2 of my favorite strategies for building an email list and give a blueprint that you can use to jump start your list building efforts. But first, let’s take a high-level look at the process. List building takes hard work There is no way around it. If you are starting off with ZERO email subscribers on your list, then you are going to have to get your hands dirty. This means you are going to have to manually reach out to individuals in your social network to create a group of subscribers that you can build upon (more on this in tips 1-3). Once you get to 100 subscribers, things get easier. You can use tactics that are scalable and give you more exponential list growth. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If you don’t have a least 100 email subscribers on your list, then none of the other strategies will work for you. So focus on getting 100 before moving on to the other strategies. Here are the two strategies that will get you to 100 email subscribers (in 30 days or less): The Grin’N Hustle Method Twitter List Building Hack Grab your favorite beverage, because we are going to put in some work… The Grit’n Hustle Method When I was younger, my father taught me how to sell. His idea was that if I learned how to sell and the psychology behind selling, then I’d never go hungry. Even in the worst economies in the world, a salesman can always make money. Those skills have served me well, and they are the exact skills you need to build a list to 100 people. Specifically the skill of cold calling – or cold outreach as we will call it. Now before you shut your computer and scream in agony at the thought of cold calling… here me out. Cold outreach is simply letting someone who is potentially interested in your subject matter know that you are going to be doing something cool and relevant in their area of interest. Here is what is interesting. Most of us probably have around 20-30 interested people’s emails in our inbox already. We just haven’t done anything to let them know we are going to be working on something cool. Radicati.com states that the average person sends and receives roughly 102 emails per day. This means we have 100+ potential people we can have conversations with that might be interested in our subject matter. The question is how do we segment and contact the most relevant people? The answer is manual labor. It’s not fun or sexy, but it is effective. Here is the process: Open your email inbox Look at the last 200 …

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Grow Your Online Course Business with LifterLMS and ConvertKit

What is ConvertKit? ConvertKit is a powerful email marketing tool, and at LifterLMS we invite you to consider integrating with it through the official LifterLMS ConvertKit integration to help grow your course sales and give you more tools to communicate with your learners. There are a lot of email marketing tools out there, so why did we choose ConvertKit? It has a beautiful, well designed interface that just makes sense. There are a lot of confusing interfaces in the email marketing space, and ConvertKit is not one of them. ConvertKit’s sequence or “autoresponder” system is perfect for creating email mini-courses to help you earn the trust of potential learners and ultimately close the sale into your main LifterLMS powered online courses. Nathan Barry, the entrepreneur behind ConvertKit, is a seasoned email marketer and creator of successful online courses and other digital products. He gets where you’re coming from, and he knows what you need to be successful. Nathan Barry, ConvertKit Founder How to Use ConvertKit to Get More Course Leads and Sales ConvertKit has something called sequences that you can trigger. A sequence is a series of emails that go out over a period of time or “drip” that you define. We recommend you use ConvertKit sequences to deliver an email based mini-course. This email mini-course helps you get more leads and sales because… People get to know you. They may have found you for the first time, and it’s important to build rapport before you ask for the sale. As a general rule, people like to do business or learn from people they already know. People get to see if they like you as a teacher. We all have memories of teachers we loved and others we did not enjoy. A free email mini-course in exchange for an email address gives people the opportunity to test the waters and find out if they like working with you. People get an opportunity to see if they trust you. This is the most important factor and driver of sales. Once you have the trust as a likable authority that can deliver valuable educational material, you have the greatest likelihood of moving that student from “interested” to “paying student.” So we recommend you find a place on your website, like the blog sidebar or the top of the home page, and have a ConvertKit opt-in form where you ask for an email address in exchange for a free email mini-course. Give people the opportunity to know, like, and trust you. Then at the end of the email sequence, send them some information and give the learner a link so they can explore your paid courses or memberships. How to Use ConvertKit for Intelligent Email Broadcasting to Students One of the best things about the LifterLMS ConvertKit Extension is the ability to segment your email list. After you have earned the trust through your email mini-course and the student buys a course from you, you can now add them to a specific “tag” and apply additional sequences if you’d like. An example of a sequence you might want to send out is some general “getting started” or “onboarding” emails designed to remove any friction on getting going. For example, you might send out an email with a link to a video that has a behind the scenes tour of your course platform. It’s important that you take advantage of the moment right after purchase when interest, attention, and excitement is the highest. Even more powerful than the global tagging and sequences you can trigger is the ability to add users to a specific …

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