The internet has made it possible for content creators with just 1000 true fans or even 100 true fans, to build successful businesses. One avenue for building a successful niche business is by designing an online course. Jonathan Levy, for instance, built the Become a SuperLearner course into the most successful course on Udemy. Here’s how you can build a successful online course in just that in 90 minutes.
Money is the result of the creation of value. Before the internet, an idea had to achieve scale to become profitable. Today, you just need 100 or 1000 true fans to be successful. Nevertheless, you have to be able to deliver real value to that niche group of fans, for them to be willing to part with, say, $100 a year each.
Map the Way
Speak to various people in fields that you are passionate about and have expertise in, to see what they feel could be something you could contribute with. You should also research on topics you are passionate and knowledgeable about, so you can define what your possible outcomes are. If possible, get subject experts involved in the design process.
Familiarize yourself with ABC’s Conversational Framework and see how it applies to the 6 learning types.
You will also need to get a storyboard tool that is a powerful way to communicate your lesson concepts in a visual way. Finally, you will need to define a set of, say, four or five learning outcomes that learners will walk away with. For instance, if you are teaching a course on becoming a chiropractor, you have to clearly define what learners will be able to do after the course. You should use simple language, and active verbs, appropriate for the level of instruction.
Create a Storyboard
- Add the subject experts onto a new board or plan.
- Rename the left panel, “Learning types”.
- Add 6 new cards/tasks for each learning type, and title them with the name of the activity.
- Download ABC’s learning type cards, uploading them to 6 cards/tasks.
- Click on each card/task to see more options, labeling using, “Audio”, “Existing media”, “Reading”, “Video”, “1 min”, “5 mins”, “10 mins”, and “20 mins”. These will be used when you are designing the course, to time activities and label acquisitions.
- Add columns for every week, section, or topic of the course, renaming according to what makes the most sense.
Now, when you want to use a card in the storyboard, you can copy it from the left panel, title it appropriately and annotate it as you feel necessary.
Run a Design Session
If you have managed to rope in any subject matter experts, you can schedule 90 minutes to work with them.
You can run a design session online, using a video conferencing platform such as Teams. Each expert can write a short description of the course, so that everyone can start thinking about what the course is, should be able to do, and the best way to achieve outcomes.
You can use the rest of the session developing your course using the storyboard tool, ensuring that the boards cater to the six learning types.
Within 90 minutes, you should have completed your course design, with activities, assessment protocols and estimates of task times.