How to Validate Your Online Course Idea to Ensure it's In Demand and Profitable
So, you want to teach online classes. You might even have a few ideas on how you plan to go about doing it. But how do you know if your online course will be a success or the dreadful thought—a waste of time? Well, there are a few things you need to know before you narrow down your ideas to an online teaching platform. First of all being whether or not people are even interested in your chosen topic.
You want to ask these main questions first…
Does your course idea solve a problem? and
Does it address your target audience's pain points?
It definitely should, and I'm going to tell you exactly how you can validate your online course idea to ensure it's in demand and profitable.
Prepare for Idea Validation
Before you begin teaching online classes, you need to condense your idea into a value proposition. Write down these questions and be very specific with your answers:
Why would someone pay for this course?
What pain point/struggle does this course present a solution to?
What value does this course have to offer? What will be the final outcome?
Your messaging must be specific. If you need to further break down these questions in order to provide a thorough answer, do that work. It’s imperative to creating the infrastructure for your course and your marketing efforts.
Research The Market
You will need to research the market before actually creating an online course. The point is to determine if your target audience even exists.
- Would anyone be interested in taking this course?
- Is there a demand for your course?
The easiest way to get answers is by asking people and even surveying your audience about the area your online classes are targeting. Ask them if they have any specific pain points in the area or if there’s something they are particularly interested in learning about.
Search for Resources
Sites like Google, BuzzSumo, Facebook Groups and forums can help you assess the demand for your idea in the market.
- What type of resources are already available on the topic?
- Are there any books that target the same pain points as your course?
- Are people making YouTube videos on the subject?
You can take inspiration from your competitors, but if you don't have any, be strategic about your approach as your move forward with that topic. Sometimes it’s a good thing because you can do it first and you can do it RIGHT. However, sometimes no competitors means little to no demand on online teaching platforms. It really depends, which is why conducting surveys and asking your audience will play a big part in validating your idea.
Run Lead Magnet Tests
Leads magnets can also help you identify whether there is a demand for your content in the market (not to mention the bonus of growing your email list in the process.
These are basically pieces of content available on your website like
...that attract your target audience. In this case, the resources would be based on the topic that your online course is about.
Potential leads will be able to get your resource simply by providing their email address. This builds your list while testing demand!
You should create a compelling lead magnet with a complete call-to-action and then see if it can generate any substantial results.
Run A Mini Course
Before officially creating an online course, you could do a test run to see how your content is responded to, while also discovering any issues that come up along the way, whether it be your delivery, technical matters, etc. so you can improve and make adjustments for your larger course so it runs smoothly.
If the course doesn't quite generate the desired results, you have the opportunity to look for a why. Maybe it wasn't priced right, or it wasn't covering enough content, or perhaps the topic just isn't in demand.
However, suppose you, hopefully, successfully manage to conduct online teaching sessions for your students. In that case, you it’s a great idea to ask them to provide testimonials, which can be used to market the actual course.
"Am I qualified to teach?"
Once you feel ready to officially continue your venture as an online course creator, you might start having second thoughts about teaching online classes. TOTALLY NORMAL. This might be because you feel that you are not an expert in the topic you’re teaching. Here’s the thing… online teaching doesn't demand experts. You just need to know more than your target audience. Basically, if you are providing additional value or knowledge, you're good to go.
It’s truly that simple. Just make sure to clearly define your course contents beforehand so people know what to expect and you get the RIGHT students. Reiterating: You don't need to be an expert, you just need to know more than your audience.