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Creating online courses feels exactly like being the slightly nerdy (but secretly awesome) high school girl with a hopeless and top secret boy crush.
It’s a never ending cycle of “does he like me, or not?”
Every lingering glance, every conversation, every observation from your girlfriends is meticulously analyzed for evidence of his affection.
I’ve made a substantial income selling my courses online in 2017 (over $100K actually), but I go through a constant up and down of wondering things like…
“Am I charging too much for this?”
“Is the content good enough?”
“Is anyone actually getting results from this?”
But then a student leaves a positive comment on a lesson and I think,
“Phew! They like it!”
But two minutes later I’m obsessively checking student completion stats and thinking,
“Oh my word, this course must sucks. No one is actually completing it.”
All these ups and downs has me hating my courses more than my 2 year old hates pooping in the toilet (Yay for potty training).
So how is a well-intentioned course creator supposed to make an income AND establish unshakeable confidence in their courses’ worth?
First of all, It is actually possible.
And not only will my advice bulletproof your confidence in your courses, it also has the added ability to make you the most popular girl in high school (just in case you’re planning a Drew Barrymore-esque, “Never Been Kissed” undercover high school return).
Are you ready for it? Here’s the key…
You need to cultivate a belief in yourself and your product that is so strong, the doubters, skeptics, and constructive critics can’t knock you down.
I’ve known this for awhile. I preach it to my clients. But I made one fatal mistake when trying to do this for myself.
I tried to talk this confidence into existence. Which is about as effective as trying to manifest a real life santa claus and flying reindeer who deliver you a free brand new macbook (a girl can dream, right?).
No matter how many times I tried to reason myself out of doubt and disbelief, I could never develop the confidence needed to keep me from relying on external validation to believe my courses were worth selling.
And I’ll bet my problem was exactly the same as yours.
The uncomfortable truth: You’re choosing a lack of confidence.
Here is the blunt the truth you need to hear: It is 100% your own fault that you are stuck in the land of course-value-uncertainty. It’s easier to live in a state of doubt, then to face the scariness of the truth; maybe your course does suck.
I know I’ve both subconsciously and consciously avoided actions I knew I should take to validate my courses value (we’ll get to what those are in a minute), to protect myself from possibly discovering that what I created wasn’t good enough.
I’ve got some really solid tips for helping you face the facts about your course with bold courage, but before I share those, let’s get super honest for a minute…
- There will always be people who think your course sucks, and others who think it’s more useful than magical golden phoenix tears.
- If someone doesn’t like your course, you can always refund them. No harm done.
- There will always be people behind you on the journey, and less knowledgeable about the topic of your course. They will be impressed with it.
- Your students are human (Unless you’re from the future when robots finally rule the world). Your course could be top-freakin-notch. However, humans are notorious for resisting change and growth, and may not follow through on completing your course, despite their best intentions.
5 Practical Steps You Need to Implement to Create Real and Lasting Confidence in Your Online Courses
So now that I’ve blamed you for all your problems, let’s get to the part where you actually start gaining some confidence in that online course of yours.
If you want to get there, you’ve got to put on your big girl (or boy) panties and do a few semi-challenging, but actually not so scary things. Here’s what to do:
- TRY A LIVE VERSION OF YOUR COURSE FIRST
Some may call this a beta round. When you launch your course for the first time, consider offering live support to your students. In exchange for a better price on the course, students fill out a weekly survey on the content giving you the ability to see firsthand what isn’t clear, and what you need to add to help them along, and make sure future students can get better results.The combination of these surveys and interacting live with them as they go through will boost your confidence in the quality of your content.Pro tip: Aim to get at least 10-20 students in this round so you have diverse feedback.Extra pro tip: Take freakin epicly detailed notes on your observations. Don’t rely on memory. You won’t remember.Ok, just one more pro tip: Offering the course live for the first round will also allow you to sell the course without creating it first. Which means you can validate the idea. Which also means you will have a deadline and you’ll actually get the thing created (Hands up fellow procrastinators!).
- CREATE FOLLOW UP CONTENT
There is a moment I am certain all course creators get to in the journey to birth their content. It’s what I fondly refer to as the,“I’m more done then my my mom’s bone dry thanksgiving turkey” feeling (true for every mom’s turkeys but mine of course!).It usually happens about half way through creating the final module. You’re so ready to have this thing done.But once you upload that final module to kajabi, you are so not done. I implore you to create follow up content!By creating touch points after your students buy, you will not only delight them, but open up the conversation to hear the ever beloved thank you notes for how your content is changing their lives (or the much needed constructive feedback you need to hear). Don’t skip this step.Pro tip: Your final point of contact in this follow up series should include a survey to ask for feedback on the course as a whole, and to collect testimonials!
- BE MORE INTERESTING
If people aren’t finishing your course, it likely means somewhere along you way you didn’t hold their attention.If you created an online course about something, you probably find the topic fairly interesting. Not everyone will be quite as riveted about it as you are.So as a course creator, it’s your job to keep your students attention. Go the extra mile and make your videos engaging. Be personable. Make them laugh.If no one is completing your course, you didn’t do your job to engage your students.
- ACCEPT THAT YOUR CONTENT CAN (AND SHOULD) EVOLVE OVER TIMEI am a lifelong dieter. I know that one day I will finally lose the weight. But if I wait for that day to come to love myself, and accept my worth, it would be a tragic loss.It’s the same with your course. Accept that you did your best (so first, actually do your best when you create it!), and then make the choice to accept it, flaws and all.Because even if it’s not perfect, it is still so valuable.
- WRITE A LOVE LETTER TO YOUR COURSE
But not the kind loaded with sweet nothings. The day after you finish writing your course (no later!), go through your content, module by module, section by section, and write down a summary of the core teachings and benefits. Create a list of what you share, what your students will learn from it, and how it will change their life.Because, believe it or not, your own content will get fuzzy as time passes. And this leaves an open door for doubt.Creating this tangible and honest list will serve a much needed reminder that you share important stuff in your course, which will boost your confidence when needed.Bonus points: Within this document, keep record of all love notes from students, and screenshot anything that reminds you of what your students have accomplished through your teaching. For obvious reasons of course. 🙂
Not all of these suggestions will instantly boost your confidence.
Truth is, the best content is rarely a masterpiece on the first draft. I do hope these suggestions will help you face the facts and help you constantly improve your content.
It’s kind of like that high school girl with the hopeless crush. She pictures the worst thing in the world being having her secret revealed. It’s easier to live hopeful than face what feels like inevitable rejection.
Don’t be like her.
Because living in blissful ignorance will only lead to doubting whether your content is good enough.
And if it isn’t, you just need to fix it.
If it is, you deserve to be confident in it.
P.s: Have you taken an online course you loved? Do the creator a favor and send them a thoughtful note of appreciation for their masterpiece. They probably don’t hear it enough.
P.p.s: If you need a platform to host your online course, I highly recommend Kajabi. It will give your course the most professional look right out of the gate, and I know it’s vain, but the sheer prettiness of it has definitely boosted my confidence in my courses. Start your 14 day free trial here.