Have you ever questioned the feasibility of an idea for an online course or its potential appeal to your audience? Have you ever struggled to come up with an interesting topic for your audience? If so, you have come to the right place!
Ideas are just the starting point of the online course creation process, and it is crucial to recognize that the beginning sets the tone for every action.
While many online course creators hope that their ideas will be well-received, it is important to acknowledge that only a small fraction of these ideas are truly worth pursuing. The most effective way to determine the potential success of an idea is through validation.
In this article, you will find this three-step process of validating an online course idea incredibly useful whenever you are looking to create one.
What is the Validation of a Course Idea?
Idea validation is an essential stage in the creative process, along with inspiration, framing, prototyping, and validation, regardless of the creation at hand. When it comes to online course creators, idea validation is a confident and systematic approach to gathering evidence using various methods and channels. This approach allows for making fast, informed, and risk-free decisions about the online course topic and content.
The validation of an online course idea begins with an initial concept and culminates with a paying customer. The process of validating an idea involves testing its practicality in the real world before releasing the final product, such as an online course, or offering a specific bundle of courses.
Why is it Important to Validate Your Online Course Idea?
Presenting your learners with meaningful online courses is what you must do as an online course creator. You have the ability to demonstrate to your learners what they need to know about a topic, or how they can improve a skill, through a specific online course you have created for them. This effectively showcases your expertise in that specific topic and enhances your credibility with your target audience.
As a course creator, you hold a significant responsibility to your audience, whether they are paying customers or not. Your task is to develop a strong online course subject from scratch that offers value to your learners.
Course validation is precisely the process you should consistently perform when creating an online course to bolster your online course idea. No matter how skilled you are, whether you are a professional, entrepreneur, or business, it is crucial to always consider market research, Google Analytics, search engines, and various communication channels that we will discuss later in this article to gather invaluable insights relevant to your online course idea.
Course validation will assist you in making an informed decision about improving your online course idea, creating an innovative online course, or establishing the process you will follow to implement a course topic and the content you will include.
Having an established process for transforming your generated ideas into action is vital.
Think of course validation as the bulletproof vest, the armor that you must put on your online course idea to safeguard it from attacks.
Indeed, with a simple Google search, you can find an abundance of processes for validating an idea. We have chosen to simplify the process for you, narrowing it down to the essential 3 steps you need to take, and customizing it specifically for online course creation.
The Step-by-Step Process for Validating Online Course Ideas
Step 1: Define your learners’ pain points
Ask Your Customers - Surveys
Asking your learners about their needs, desires, and challenges is a highly effective approach to uncovering your next online course concept.
You have the option to utilize an online survey tool such as Google Form or SurveyMonkey to carry out primary market research with a select group of individuals from your customer base.
Ask Google - Keyword Trends
Many times it's not easy ⎯ or you don't want ⎯ to go around asking your learners questions about what they would like to learn or what difficulties they want to overcome, and so on. However, tools like Google Trends can come to the rescue.
Keyword trend tools, as the name suggests, track what terms people are searching for and translate this into predictions. With these tools, you can refine your search results by time period and location, giving you a quick overview of the relative popularity of search terms.
Keyword trend tools provide helpful insights into how various search terms have changed over time. They also allow you to gain a snapshot of evolving trends within a certain period, which can be valuable for generating content ideas and finding inspiration.
💁 For example, if you are in the healthcare industry offering courses for physical therapy and you are looking for your next online course topic, you can use Google Trends to quickly search for the trend of the subject "physical therapy."
Take a look at the results and pay attention to the "Related queries" section, where you can find what other things about physical therapy users have searched for. You can also sort the results by specific metrics, such as the most popular search queries or the queries with the biggest increase in search frequency since the last time period.
Ask Internet - Online Research
Primary market research to identify your learners' pain points is excellent, and it may not always be feasible.
In addition to the available content trend tools, you can also:
You can employ these methods or a combination thereof to obtain valuable insights into your customers' desired learning topics or their current challenges.
Step 2: Analyse the raw data
Step 3: Course prelaunch
What does it mean to prelaunch and pre-sell your online course?
Pre-launching entails confidently promoting your course and gathering the email addresses of potential students. This crucial phase involves raising awareness and priming individuals to make a purchase once your course is launched.
The process works by confidently generating excitement and encouraging people to subscribe to your mailing list. In fact, this method is the optimal way to introduce a product. By building anticipation among your audience, you create the necessary suspense that motivates them to opt in and ultimately purchase your online course.
Going a step further, you can also confidently pre-sell the course by making it available upfront. This approach serves as an excellent means to assess the course's profitability and even finance its development.
How to Successfully Pre-launch or Pre-sell Your Online Course
To ensure a successful pre-launch or pre-sale of your online course, make sure you have the following elements prepared:
Follow these steps confidently to effectively pre-launch or pre-sell your online course.
Keep in mind that you can prelaunch your online course either as a whole or just a module of it, to your entire audience or to a smaller group of your audience. You can also decide to prelaunch just a free first lesson.
There is no definitive rule or universally recognized best practice for determining your approach to the prelaunch and pre-sale of your course. You must test and optimize based on your specific audience and the industry you are targeting. Whatever path you choose, it is essential to inform your audience in advance, ensuring they understand what to expect from a prelaunch or pre-sale.
Here are a few ideas to inspire your pre-launch or pre-selling strategy for your online course: