When creating an online course, one of the first things is finding a helpful online education topic.
You want to ensure that you understand your audience and their burning desire.
Why is this extremely important?
Think about this. What if you don’t know your audience’s desire? How can you create something helpful for them? That’s difficult, right?
You might think you know what your audience has in mind. But how DO you actually KNOW?
I remember an exercise in my coaching class where the instructor had us face each other in pairs. The task was only to say something about the other person we knew was the actual truth. At first, I thought, “that’s easy.” But as it turned out, it wasn’t easy at all.
I didn’t know the person I was facing very well. And what I realized with this exercise was that I could only positively understand what I could observe from the outside. What was going on inside the other person? I had no clue!
This experience reminds me that it is crucial to take the magnifying glass out of my pocket and do some research and ask questions like another Sherlock Holmes.
The questions you want to ask your audience to know for SURE what they are looking to achieve are:
- What is their end goal or their burning desire?
- What is the transformation your audience is looking for?
- And how can your course help them get there?
The answers to these questions will help you understand your audience and see the learning experience through their eyes.
Another aspect is to look at yourself as the perfect transformational guide for your audience.
What have you been through that will help your audience feel comfortable and safe, that you can take them through the process and help them get the desired outcome?
How to find your unique course transformation topic
To find your unique and hot course transformation topic, you want to ask yourself what combination of skills, talent, background, and experiences makes you the perfect transformational guide for your audience.
Once you have identified your sweet spot, you can see how it matches the burning desire your audience is seeking help to achieve. The main question is what they will be able to do differently after taking your course?
That’s your course transformation!
In my free webinar, you can access my discovery questionnaire that will help you define your audience burning desire and identify how you can help them reach their goal.
How to find your unique combination? One easy method to find your unique combination of skills, talent, background, and experience is to draw a simple mind map on a piece of paper. Just like in this example from my online course https://courses.sophiehhiggins.com/courses/Create-Meaningful-Online-Courses-And-Grow-Passive-Income
Let me give you an example of how you can fill it out based on my background as a course creator. I’ve been working as an educator for 20 years. I’ve been working and having my career in Denmark for the biggest part of my life, where I was teaching art and writing, and then I moved into leadership. I was a high school principal for four years before I moved to the US. I have three master’s degrees: Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Business Coaching. I’ve also been working as a webmaster. I have written five textbooks about teaching, writing, teaching art, developing curriculums, and improving learning outcomes on a large scale.
I’m also an internationally certified educational consultant. And I’ve been working as a keynote speaker, where I’ve been giving speeches to large audiences, both in Denmark and now in the US, about improving learning outcomes and creating online courses.
Over the years, I’ve helped more than 1000 experts develop their curricula in different topics. During the past year, I’ve helped more than 20 experts build their online courses in the US and Canada.
Lastly, which I find very interesting and helpful is that I have increased my course revenue by 4,364% over a course launch campaign.
My skills reflect that I’m passionate about improving learning outcomes. To me, learning is the pathway to growth and personal freedom. This underlying value has been the key throughout my whole career. The main questions I have asked myself are:
- How do I help most people learn and grow?
- How do I get more people to understand the process I’m trying to help them understand?
- And then, how do you reverse engineer your instruction to help them reach the intended learning outcome.
- And how do you use data to inform your decisions?
I find these questions necessary in every aspect of teaching, leadership, and coaching.
My talents are that I’m curious and creative. I’m caring and meticulous, and I just love learning. My heroes are a combination of Indiana Jones and Laura Croft.
This unique combination of background, experience, skills, talents, and passion makes me the perfect guide to help you create your meaningful and profitable online course.
What is the burning desire you can help your audience achieve?
The other leg in finding your unique course transformation and hot course topic is identifying your audience’s burning desire. Think about what you know already about your audience before you go out and do further research.
- What do you know already, based on your experience with your clients?
- What is their burning desire?
- What do you know? What do you think you know, and what would you like to find out?
As mentioned earlier, the critical question related to the course transformation is to ask what your audience will be able to do differently after taking your course. That is the course transformation.
In my online course, I have a worksheet that asks you to write down some notes to describe the current reality and the problems your audience has that you can help them solve as you know it. That is their point A.
The next thing to contemplate is their desired future. That is point B for your audience.
And then what key steps do they need to take to get there. What are the main steps or modules in your course?
These main steps will give you a rough idea about the course transformation process through which you will take them. You can see an overview of a course transformation below.
I can give you another example of an online course I have helped a consultant create. My client found that 20% of all new businesses fail within the first two years. In her program, she wanted to help them not to fail. Based on her experience, most companies fail because they lack planning and funding. So, she decided to create a course based on her experience and teach people to write their perfect business plans to be successful.
Finally, I want to mention that once you have a rough idea of your course transformation, you want to make sure that it’s specific.
Specific is simply better
If you just say: “I want to improve people’s lives.” I say: “That’s very ambiguous and broad. Exactly how am I supposed to make my life better?”
My online course has a SMARTER goal worksheet, where you can test if your course transformation is SMART. I added the smartER from my time as an educational consultant. You can use the worksheet to test if your course transformation is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. The -ER is related to how you can evaluate and reevaluate how your students reach the outcomes they are looking for after taking your course.
It is important to remember that creating an online program is a process. You’re not going to build a top seller in eight weeks. It’s a process of building a product you can test, improve, and retest. And as you go, it will be more and more successful because you eventually get a good customer market fit throughout this process.