Using Online Courses to Supplement Your Income

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Recent events have shown us all that even in an industry like wellness, we need to have a backup plan. For many spa and massage businesses, the backup plan has been online based, whether that means online sales or courses. I’d like to talk about how to turn your experience into something you can monetize online, and how to use your knowledge as an income stream.

If you’re not sure that online courses will work for you, why not read through this guide to making it work first – and then decide?

Courses are a great way to build passive income . Yes, they take a lot of work to create, but once that work is done you can make money without having to do anything else – unless you get the bug for it and decide that you want to make more money from webinars and further courses! Courses can offer you a quicker return than some other common ways of making passive income online, like blogging; you can make money with lower traffic and even a smaller audience. Ready to find out more?

Deciding what to teach

The first hurdle that people usually come across when they are thinking about whether online courses are for them is – what can I teach people?

To sell a successful online course, you will need to attract people that want to buy your knowledge and expertise, and to that you must niche. How do you go about finding that perfect niche?  Firstly, think about a subject that you know well and are passionate about.

Some of my ideas included:

  1. Self-massage.
  2. Couples massage.
  3. Making your own spa products at home.
  4. How to have a spa day at home.

When you have a few ideas, head to the free Google Keyword Planner and do your research: I typed in ‘how to have a spa day at home’ which came up with 100-1000 searches per month and has low competition. Ideally, you need around 1000 searches per month so the spa day at home idea could work well. If your idea doesn’t return a high volume of searches, you can always try changing the phrasing or just seeing what else Google comes up with that might work better for you. Don’t give up!

Once you have your idea, think about who might be searching for your course and how to appeal to them.

Planning your course

Once you have your idea, think about who is likely to buy your course, and then focus all of your course content and marketing efforts on that person.

Your potential customers just want to know what you can do for them. They might be looking for help with a specific pain point or problem, or perhaps they just want to know how to achieve a personal wellness goal. Think about how you can show them that you’re the person to help them do just that.

At the same time, you also need to let your personality shine through, and release the need for perfection. If you’re qualified to teach and you know your niche backwards, make that come across too. Think about how you’ll sell to your perfect customer; imagine these two straplines and how they would appeal to you:

Qualified Massage Therapist Teaches how to Self-Massage at Home

‘I have been working with clients for over ten years and I’ve helped many people with their back problems.;


Are You Sick of Your Sore Back But Can’t Get to Your Massage Therapist?

‘If you’re sick of the back pain that limits your movement and fed up with pain pills, I can teach you how to self-massage at home and make your daily life better.’

You would go for option 2, I’m sure. It addresses a specific pain point (literally) and explains how you will help address it (by teaching self-massage skills). When you’re thinking of your course name, strapline and selling details, always keep in mind the person you want to sell it to. Imagine being in their head as they see your course landing page and think about what might make them make the buying decision…If you’re not sure how to structure your copy, either for a website or landing page, why not hire a professional copywriter? The initial cost will soon be outweighed by the successful response to the launch.

Outlining your course

So now you know what you want to teach, and who to. You even know how to attract them – so all you have to do is create the course. The best way to get started is by outlining everything that needs to be included. It will help you to create the course much faster in the end, as you’ll know what’s going to be covered in each module.

  • First, start with a brain dump. This is the part where you write down absolutely everything relating to your subject that you think people need to know. Don’t worry about putting everything in order yet, just  bullet point, scribble, add phrases, and keep going until you’re all out of ideas. That’s your starting point.
  • Then, using bullet points, pull out the most important points and write down the big subject areas that you think are most important, the most logical topic headings and the most relevant areas of information.
  • Look at your outline and fill in the gaps with any details you might have missed.
  • Move things around so that they make logical sense. Take as long as you need to get this step as you want it.
  • What are the major subjects that you need to include, are there any links or documents you need to add to make it work? You should have a lot of information there, so now go back, the following day if necessary, and check for anything that’s either unnecessary or repeated. Once you’re happy that you’ve got everything covered, and in the right order, you can begin creating.

How to deliver your course

Courses don’t have to be text only these days. With advances in mobile and video technology you can create content for your students that they can study on the move. It’s up to you to decide how to teach your content, and I’d suggest that with a hands-on subject like massage, skincare or spa services, a video element is essential.

  • Video is one of the simplest ways to deliver course content – you just get in front of the camera and talk! It also works well with wellness subjects as it can help to build up a connection with the students Not just that – it’s way quicker to create than typing it all out…
  • If you’re not a camera fan, another option you might look at is slides with a voice over. This can work if your course doesn’t involve much in the way of manual instructions. Create some Power Point or Keynote slides for students to click through while you give more information in the voiceover.
  • Don’t forget webinars! You can use any webinar you’ve already done or record a new one specially. A course platform like Kajabi will let you use a webinar as a mini-course, or you can upload a series of them for a full-length course. It means you get to make money from webinar materials.
  • You can, of course use text and image content – but think about your audience and whether it will appeal to them, first. What’s the best value for your potential customers?

Remember that your material doesn’t have to be perfect. Online courses are just you, the tutor, sharing your specialized knowledge with people who need it to help them solve their problems.

Recording your course content

This can be the scary bit for some people; but it doesn’t have to be. Worries about sounding and looking professional are normal but remember that people are watching your course because they connect with you and want to learn from you. The odd glitch might even make you seem more relatable. Having said that, you do need a pro set up, so an app like Kajabi or another similar online course creator can really help.

Personality is key, and the content should be clear, simple and well structured – but if you’ve followed the steps so far, that should all be covered. All you need to do is decide how to record your content.

Slides with a voice over

This way is simple and quick and involves less screen time if you really hate talking to camera!

  • Create a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation for each module
  • Watch the slideshow through on your computer and as you watch, talk over the slides as if you’re presenting in front of a room.
  • Makes sure that you use a good quality microphone for the best results. You need screen capture software like Camtasia for PC, or Screenflow for Mac) to record your voiceover. The software creates a video file for each lesson of your course which you can upload to your online course platform.

Video only

Honestly – this is the best way for teaching anything practical and hands-on like massage techniques. If you’re still wary, get inspiration from videos on YouTube and see how other presenters talk about massage technique. Pick up some tips and get confident before you start.

Depending on budget, you can ask a film maker to video you, or you can ask a friend/family member to film you talking. You don’t need an expensive camera, and you can even make good quality video on a smartphone.

Remember that people have short attention spans, keep each video lesson short and to the point. No waffling! Ideally, no individual lesson needs to be any longer than 20 minutes; complicated subjects where there’s a lot to cover should be split into two. Aim for 10 minutes or so where possible, per lesson.

How will you sell your course?

Are you going to offer a limited time only course or an evergreen (join at any time) course?

  • An evergreen course can give you a steady stream of passive income. It’s less effort and pressure than a course that relies on a big launch a few times every year. The drawbacks are that because it’s always there, people might put off joining; there’s no urgency. It also means that you have to keep a constant eye on things if your subject area is subject to changes over time.
  • Time-limited courses may only be open for a couple for weeks at a time but tend to give you a bigger rush of income at once. If the course is limited, people have to act now to join, and can’t put it off indefinitely.  The only issue is that you have to create a big buzz around the course, and that can be the stressful part. These types of courses can also be sold at a higher price point, because of scarcity creating demand.

If your course is small, then evergreen could work better for you, but if you’re covering a large amount of material a limited time only launch is possibly going to be more effective.

Online Course Software

To make things easier, the clever people at Kajabi have developed an all in one app that allows you to create online courses. And wouldn’t you know it, I have a link for you to try the app for FREE for 28 days.

Kajabi gives you all you need to create and sell your course, all in one place.

You’ll get:

  • Website building tools
    Marketing support
  • Blogging features
  • Membership site/online course software
  • Built in video streaming
  • Private community social area
  • Payment processing on site
  • Email marketing tools
  • Automated marketing funnels (for list building)
  • Landing page tools
  • Affiliate program features.

What have you got to lose? Give online courses a try and you’ll never look back. Click here to try Kajabi for free for 28 days.

Try Kajabi for free for 28 days - Click here

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