There are plenty of ways to make money online, but selling online courses and training material has to be one of the best methods. The reasons for this are many, such as low overhead costs when getting started, digital products have an extremely high-profit margin and there is a never ending need for good quality training material online — and lastly, people and brands are willing to pay good money for them as well!
Just take a look at what Udemy has created in a short period of time with their online marketplace for video courses and training material. The site now has over 17 million students and more than 27,000 instructors contributing content to their site — all while also working on a rev-share business model.
The hardest part of the course creation process is knowing what to build and how you are going to sell it. If this is something you are personally going to be creating and promoting, it should be something around your expertise and that you are known for. A perfect example of this would be if I was going to create an affiliate marketing or blogging course. Since I already have authority in these spaces and a loyal following, it would just make perfect sense for me to build something of value to sell to my audience.
With all of this in mind, today we are going to look at some different ways you can start creating successful online courses, while also doing some pre-planning and niche research in the process. The more research you do beforehand, the easier it will be for you to find success down the road.
Build a Course Around the Needs of a Business or Your Audience
When it comes time to create a course or training program, you will need to look at this from two different perspectives. Are you going to sell to businesses and brands, or individuals looking to learn something? If you are going to be selling to businesses and brands, you will likely need to have a more professional course, but will also have the ability to charge a lot more for it. Businesses always have money to spend, and if they are going to get value out of something, it’s usually a no brainer for them to invest in.
On the flip side, if you are going to create a course for individuals looking to learn something, you need to make sure you price it correctly. For example, if you were to create a course on how to make money blogging, it would be tough to sell it for a high ticket price, since your audience likely isn’t already established with a successful site or blog. The difference between these two demographics can be a huge contributing factor to the success of your business.
Sticking with a ‘business’ perspective, a great example of how you can take an existing industry report and turn it into much more (through an online course), would be this report on 50 Employee Engagement Ideas (From Glassdoor’s Top 50 SMBs). Businesses are all about productivity and they want nothing more to invest money in their company to see better ROI in the long run.
As for creating a course around this topic, all you would need to do is run through the list of 50 employee engagement ideas, then create a short video for each and a simple PDF checklist. This is more than enough for a business to invest a few hundred dollars into, then hand it off to their employees for a quick study. At the same time, you know the content and advice you are recommending is already proven and of value, as it’s based off a report from a reputable site like Glassdoor.
It might seem silly at first, but this is actually a perfect opportunity for someone to take existing data that is already out there and convert it into a video format that is easier to distribute and consume. When it comes to user engagement and learning, online video is consumed and absorbed at a much faster pace than written text. The latest video industry stats prove video is now more in demand than ever before, especially with mobile usage on the rise — which is how many students are currently taking their online video courses through. Creating just text and written content to your audience is simply leaving a huge gap in both your audience reach and potential revenue.
How and Where to Create and Sell Your Online Course
With the hardest part of figuring out what your course is going to be about, out of the way, it’s now time to consider your options for how to put your course together and where to sell it. There are many ways to accomplish this — some being more simple, cost effective and faster than others. If you are looking for a thorough guide on this process, I recommend you read this one on how to build an online course. Inside the reference guide you will find a collection of actionable tips, such as how to create quick reports to include within your course (as shown below)
The content within your course is going to be important, but how you deliver it to your audience is going to be even more crucial to it’s success. Here are a few bullet points to help with the course creation process, while also making sure your content is easy to consume by your audience.
- Video is key, but PDF attachments and action sheets are also of value
- When creating videos, be sure to use PowerPoint or Keynote
- It’s best to create shorter videos versus longer videos for attention span issues
- Break your course material into different sections and modules for easy viewing
- Host your video course through a reliable video host like YouTube, Wistia or Vimeo
- If possible, include a video of yourself speaking in the corner of each video
- Make sure you have high-quality recording equipment so your sound is professional
In addition to planning for how you are going to create your online course, you will also need to consider your options for selling it online. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, Udemy is one option for selling online courses — however, most courses on the site are heavily discounted and can sell for as low as $10 each. Udemy is a great option and instantly puts your course in front of millions of potential buyers, but at the same time, you don’t own the customer data and have no way to follow-up or sell to them again, unless you use their internal communication platform, which can be limiting and also comes with its own terms and conditions.
Another option is to use a solution like Kajabi, which was specifically created to help ‘everyday people’ get online with their courses, without the need to learn any technical skills like web site design, payment processing and creating a members area. All of this can be accomplished through their drag and drop platform. Unlike Udemy, when using a platform like Kajabi, course creators will own 100% of the content and revenue from the site — however, there is also a monthly cost associated with using the Kajabi platform, where Udemy, on the other hand, is free.
Right Now is the Best Time to Create and Sell Courses Online
If you’ve ever had a passion or expertise for something and wanted to try and make some money from it in the process, right now is the perfect time to invest your time and efforts into creating and selling an online course. With there currently being over 2 billion users on social media and demographic/interest targeting options available through Facebook Ads, it’s simply a matter of going live with your course and then marketing it as effectively as possible. If you are going to price your course in the $500+ range, it’s recommended to go with a webinar solution, as this will allow you to really engage with your audience and pre-sell them on the concept, while also giving them a call to action at the end of the webinar. It’s also a great way to build a massive mailing list in the process.
Be sure to run through all of the recommendations and tips above, then get to work on launching a course of your own today!
Analyzing the Many Benefits of Starting a Home Business in 2019
There are many people these days that would love to run their own business but many have no idea where they should start. Most are put off right away but the thought of raising enough money to start a business. However, what many people fail to realize is that in today’s digital era it has become far easier and cheaper to start a business because you can start it from home.
Whether you want to provide a freelance accountancy or writing service, set up an online retail business, or even start your own drop shipping business, working from home is an ideal solution. You can enjoy many benefits when you set up your business from home and this includes keeping costs down to a minimum. In fact, more and more people have been able to start their own business these days thanks to modern technology and the online revolution, which is why has become so viable for many people.
Some of the Key Benefits You Can Look Forward To
There are many fabulous benefits that you can look forward to when you set up your own business from home. As mentioned earlier, one of the key benefits is that it is far cheaper to run a business from home than to worry about paying for business premises, business rates, bills, building maintenance and other unnecessary costs. All you have to do is set up a home office, which can be done very cheaply by investing in high quality used furniture and equipment. This immediately makes it more financially viable to set up your own business.
A second benefits is that you won’t have to worry about traveling to and from work every day, which will not only save you a lot of time and hassle but also a lot of money in gas or public transport fares. You can simply have breakfast at home and then stroll to your home office, settle down, and begin work for the day. This is a great way to enjoy working for yourself and improving your work life balance.
The sheer number and types of jobs you can do from home is yet another benefit you can look forward to. Many people these days set up as freelancers working from their own home office or set up a small business from home. You can consider all sorts of options ranging from online sales through to freelance writing, web design, accountancy services, and more. All you need to do is consider your skills and interest so you can better determine the type of home career that will suit you.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of being your own boss and working from home, setting up your home business has never been easier. Thanks to high speed internet technology and the online revolution, there are all sorts of jobs you can do when you set up a home office. What’s more, you have a far better chance of making a great income if you put in the work.
The Financial Benefits of Starting Your Own Business from Home
You must also bear in mind the many financial benefits that come with setting up your own business from home. You can benefit from minimal upfront costs because you don’t have to worry about things such as paying for business premises and associated costs. You can also benefit from big savings when it comes to travel, as you won’t have to go back and forth from the office each day.
In addition to the many savings you can make by working from home, you also have to consider the boost in income that you can look forward to. When you work for yourself, you have the ability to boost your income dramatically by putting in the hard work and commitment necessary. This means that you can look forward to a far better quality of life for you and your loved ones as well as being able to enjoy far more financial freedom. Many people spend years working for someone else and still find themselves on a low salary at the end of it all. However, when you work for yourself you have the ability to more or less set your own income based on the amount of work you are prepared and able to put in.
Improving Your Future by Setting Up Your Own Home Business
With so many benefits to look forward to, it is very easy to see how working for yourself from home could help to improve your future. You can then look forward to not only the flexibility and freedom of being your own boss but the chance to enjoy a brighter and more exciting future doing something that you actually have an interest in.
5 Office Decor Must-Haves to Make Your Home Office or Workspace Pop
When you work from home, you need to have a nice place in your house that is yours, which is also secluded from other noise and distractions. At the same time, you also want to make this an area where you can work and enjoy your atmosphere.
The same holds true for employees and professionals that have their own cubicle or workspace as well.
If you are looking to spruce things up and make your workspace more enjoyable, then you my friend, have come to the right place. Let’s jump straight to it. Below you’ll find the best recommendations to turn your office from drab to fab with four office must haves.
To kick things off, let’s take a look at what my home office looks like today! For more pictures and guidance on how I set up my home office, be sure to check out the full article here.
Now, let’s move on to five helpful decor tips that you can start using to improve your own workspace!
Office Must Haves #1: Natural Light
The modern trend is shifting toward spaces flooded with natural light. The effects of natural light both energizes and inspires your employees. It’ll increase their productivity and happiness. We’re talking large, clear windows with the curtains drawn back.
Evaluate your present sources of light. Open your curtains or shutters. Do they allow enough light to come through? If not, and if you can’t replace the windows, consider changing to full-spectrum light-bulbs.
Full-spectrum bulbs offer up the same spectrum of light as our sun. You can choose wavelengths that imitate morning, afternoon, or evening sunlight to create an awesome office space.
#2 Plants and Flowers
In addition to natural light, plants and flowers will lend your industrial office an organic quality. Don’t settle for fake flowers. Regardless of what you’ve been told, they won’t give your office an organic feel.
Stick with the real stuff. Potted plants work wonders. If you water them every few days, you’ll have them for years.
Bouquets of flowers are far better, but they can be expensive. You can always compromise. Buy fresh flowers during the summer at farmers markets. They’re much less expensive than florists.
For the rest of the year, keep a few potted flowers around. Lilies are our recommendation.
#3 Interactive Whiteboard
Whiteboards are paramount in today’s communal workplaces. They offer your staff a place to throw around ideas and think through strategies. If you leave your written work on the board between sessions, your staff will unconsciously continue developing ideas.
It’s also a simple way to keep all your business’s ideas in one place. It’s much easier and less time consuming than dozens of back-and-forth email chain letters. With whiteboards, you can take in the entire scope of your strategy in one glance.
Don’t worry, they’re not hard to find. Here are a few suggested online stores for office goodies (outside of Amazon):
Next, let’s talk about your furniture choices.
#4 Comfortable Chairs
No, we’re not talking Barcaloungers. We’re talking office chairs, seats, and stools. The only reason to furnish your office with uncomfortable chairs is that you want to push people to leave. That works fine in cafeterias and coffee shops.
For everything else, think ergonomically. When your visitors or your staff sit in a comfortable chair, their stress levels decrease. This leads to an increase in their productivity.
Comfortable chairs are also a sign of prestige. They work the same as a stylish desk or a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. They signal people that you care about more than the function of your space.
You also care about the people in it.
#5 Add Some Minimalist Art and Photos
Have you ever been to a home of office where there are pictures and photos all over the place? Sometimes it can get quite overwhelming.
There is nothing wrong with having motivational messages or pictures of your loved ones around you, but there are nice ways to set this up as well.
Try to stick with only a few art frames or photos on your desk, and make sure they have a nice frame and compliment the area around you.
It also couldn’t hurt to add some motivational posters to your walls for those days that you need an extra work ethic pick-me-up.
Now that you’ve discovered our office must haves, it’s time to start shopping. But, before you do, evaluate your present office style. Look at your color schemes and overall style. Then you can match your new goodies and your old.
Was this information helpful? Then come to pick through our library full of other helpful articles.
So long and good luck!
Pros & Cons of Offering Small Business Benefits Packages to Employees
If you are planning to expand your business from a one man company, to a multi-person organization, you will likely need to start thinking about employee benefits and how you might be spreading the best packages across your employees and staff. As much as I love the concept of being a sole-entrepreneur, if you want to grow and scale your business in size, this is just another process that is required to have in place.
Wondering if you should go the extra mile for your employees?
79% of employees would choose a benefits package over a salary increase. But a small business may have as much to lose as it has to gain by offering a benefits package.
Below, we’re taking a look at the pros and cons of offering a small business benefits package to employees.
Pro: Attracting Quality Employees
The most obvious advantage of offering employee benefits lies in the quality of candidates it helps attract.
A flat salary actually has limited use to the modern worker. It may help pay for basic living costs, but it leaves many of the big stresses of life up in the air. A single look at life insurance quotes will be enough to show you what your employees are up against when they’re trying to cover everything with only a salary.
Add the medley of other life expenses, and it’s clear to see why employees are getting pickier about who they work for. By offering a benefits package, you can attract employees who are more serious and selective about their careers.
Pro: Giving Something Back
“But I already pay a salary!” we hear you cry.
Think of it this way: is a salary enough compensation for the many long hours of their life an employee spends at your company? After all, we only live once. A salary represents the minimum possible compensation for the raw labor an employee provides.
In truth, most employees provide a lot more than that.
Offering benefits can give something back to the people who spend that time bringing success to your company. It also shows them that you value them as individuals with personal lives and circumstances.
Pro: Driving Motivation and Retention
Extra incentives are a great tool to add that extra spark of motivation. Employees with access to benefits feel they’re there for more than the “daily grind”. Not only are they less stressed, but they’re also more positive about the company they work for.
Over time, that means more productivity and less attrition through employees moving on to better opportunities.
One of the benefits of offering company health benefits to employees should be clear: fewer sick days. Your staff might take more days off for smaller problems, but the upshot is that those smaller problems won’t progress into more serious conditions.
Pro: Creating Brand Ambassadors
Even for megacorps that have achieved the status of a household name, marketing makes up a huge percentage of their business spend. For small businesses, it can bleed them dry.
So, the value of free marketing is clear. But free promotion doesn’t begin and end with social media. Have you considered the value your employees have as brand ambassadors?
People expect employees to be a little cynical about the company they work for. It’s a real achievement to turn that cynicism into positivity. A benefits package could lead to your employees singing the praises of your company.
Positive word-of-mouth about your company then starts with your employees – and ripples out through their social circles and online presence.
This is also something Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid, had to think about. Founded in 2002, the company has grown their customer base to over 10,000 companies, while also serving locations in more than 140 countries around the world. This simply wouldn’t have been possible as a single-person company, but being a brand ambassador and an image for her company, Sarah continues to see daily improvements and growth within the company.
Con: The Visible Cost
The additional cost of offering benefits isn’t always welcome for a small business.
On top of that, a small business also won’t have a lot of buying power to negotiate cheaper rates. For a small business, benefits might turn out to be a luxury you can’t afford.
Benefits can also obscure your cash flow. The price of insurance can fluctuate over time. Any benefits you offer based on reimbursement are unpredictable.
It’s vital for a small business to control its cash flow. Providing benefits is often undesirable for small businesses, as it introduces uncertainty.
Con: The Hidden Cost
The full cost of offering benefits isn’t obvious at first glance. We’ve outlined the obvious costs, but what about the hidden costs of a benefits package?
Offering benefits sucks up a wealth of administration time. You might even need new hires capable of delivering the details of your benefits scheme. That heaps extra costs on top of the obvious cost of offering benefits.
As you offer more benefits, your administrative time increases. For a small company, those costs can run out of control. This isn’t an option for some small businesses that struggle to control their cash flow.
Con: Legal Pitfalls
When you enter the insurance game, you’re also entering a legal minefield.
Making a misstep along the way could leave you subject to legal action. That could be a deathblow for a business operating on thin margins.
Legal action against your company will soak up time and money. It’ll also drag your reputation through the dirt, making it harder to attract quality employees in the future. It could even damage your brand.
You could take extra care to make sure this doesn’t happen, but that’s yet another expense on top of the cost of providing benefits.
Con: Finding the Benchmark
Information is one of the most powerful weapons you can have against your competition. But it can be hard to figure out what sort of benefits package your competition has on offer.
In contrast to offering a flat salary, that makes it tough to decide where your benefits package should stop. You’ll need to put some serious work into finding out what candidates in your industry are searching for.
If you lowball your benefits package, the accompanying reduction in salary will drive candidates away. Overextend, and you risk bankrupting your business. You need to find the balance that keeps you competitive.
The Small Business Benefits Package: Yea or Nay?
The exact situation of every business is different, so we can’t tell you whether a small business benefits package is right for you. But we’ve given you enough info that you’re now equipped to decide whether it’s the way to go for your business.
Looking for more business advice? Check out our top podcast episodes.
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