Having an online course or program can transform your business. It gives you something to offer everyone that comes your way. It allows you to work with lots more people without taking up all of your time. It’s a great funnel for your higher level work. And it brings more money to your business.

On top of that, it’s a growing area, with more and more people buying online courses and products every year.

Maybe you’ve thought about creating an online program, but haven’t taken the leap yet. Do you have an idea of what your first course would look like? Do you know what options you have or what questions to ask?

When I work with clients to build online programs, these are a few of the key questions we ask in the beginning to determine the structure of their course. From there, you can create your course plan around the choices you make. By the way, this is the first part of what I’ll be doing with a small group of entrepreneurs and business owners this Fall as part of the Get It Done Group. Together we will “Build Your Online Course in 90 Days.” But first, let’s look at some of your basic options.

Live OR Evergreen?

Do you want people to be able to buy your course at anytime? Or will it start on a particular date for all participants?

An evergreen course allows you to generate recurring revenue. You can build a funnel leading to your course and direct people to it on an ongoing basis. On the flip side, it can be more difficult to get people to buy something without a clear deadline, and the price points for evergreen courses are much lower.

Live programs allow you to work with a group of people during a particular time. It’s easier to incorporate valuable instructional design tools for accountability and interaction. You can run it repeatedly, perhaps once or twice a year, and each round has a built-in deadline and motivation for participants to sign up. In most cases, you can also charge significantly more for a live program.

2 Weeks OR 12 Months (OR somewhere in between)?

How long will your program be? This decision is tied to a number of other questions. What is the depth of your content? What transformation are you trying to create for your participants? Also, what is your tolerance for dealing with logistics?  And what price point do you want to charge?

These questions give you a sense for the broad spectrum of courses that can be created. Some businesses are finding great success by creating a large number of very small and affordable classes, sometimes as short as a single training video with supporting material. That can be great if you plan to market at scale.

On the other hand, many coaches and consultants recognize that incorporating change takes time, and they want the program length to give participants a chance to experience the transformation and see lasting results.

Interactive Component OR DIY?

It is desirable for many people to have an interactive component to a course. A way for them to ask questions and engage at a higher level. It can be challenging, however, to implement an interactive tool that is effective. It is easy to throw out a Facebook Group, even for an evergreen program, but it requires significant maintenance, and doesn’t guarantee it will become an engaged platform.

Other interactive options could include Q&A calls, office hours, accountability partners, or even in-person events or gatherings. These options add tremendous value to a program, but also take time to coordinate. If your material is relatively straightforward, you can consider going with a purely DIY program – just deliver the content and leave it up to them.

These are just a few of the questions to consider when determining the structure of your online course. And who knows, you may want to create multiple courses in your business with different purposes. But you have to start somewhere!

Get It Done

If you are serious about creating an online course or program for your business, consider joining the Get It Done Group and get started this September. We will cover these questions along with a complete course planning and structure process. Then, we will create the content for your course. And finally, we’ll build your course on a platform that allows you to market, sell, and deliver your program to anyone, anywhere.

Find out more here, and register now to Build Your Online Course in 90 Days.

Build My Online Course