With the eLearning market surpassing the capitalization of $315 bln in 2021, the industry is projected to reach $1 trillion from 2022 to 2028.So if you are planning to launch online courses, don’t worry – it’s never too late. People are exhibiting a growing interest in online education, so you can seize the moment to transform your knowledge into a source of income.
Want to know what to start with and how to establish your business? Follow these four steps to launch your first project.
1. Target Your Audience
Online courses are a huge market, so you need to target narrow market segments. Find out who your customers are and what you can offer to meet their needs. This knowledge will also help you perform competitor research so you can find ways to stand out from the crowd. Ideally, your courses should fill existing gaps and deliver information that people lack.
Audience and market research will require some time. First, you need to analyze competitors’ strategies and promotional materials. Second, you should take a closer look at your potential customers: conduct surveys, visit their social media communities, and learn about their interests, lifestyles, and needs.
2. Think of your Business Model
These are the 3 most common and successful eLearning business models that you can follow:
1. Night School model. This is a traditional approach wherein a learner pays a one-time fee to access lessons and materials. As a rule, such courses include training modules (you can read here about creating those), quizzes, or exams. This model is suitable for people who need to master a particular skill or subject, which means one course will be enough for them, and they’re not likely to purchase other courses from you.
2. Academy model. It implies subscription-based education wherein a business runs a virtual school. This approach appeals to students who need to develop several skills and access an extensive library of courses and educational materials. The academy model helps businesses build long-lasting relationships with customers.
3. Combined model. This implies offering both subscription-based models and separate courses with one-time payments. The model appeals to students who are ready to pay extra for additional knowledge and materials.
All in all, your decision should depend on how many content pieces you are going to offer. While standalone courses are best for short-term profits, the academy model pays off better in the long run.
3. Develop Your Course
Now it’s time to take action and create your educational materials. You can divide this process into three crucial parts:
1. Setting goals. Find out what learners’ issues and needs are – this will help you set learning objectives and ensure that there will be a demand for your content.
2. Mapping out eLearning content. By creating an eLearning storyboard, you can avoid production mistakes and accelerate the course authoring process. It is much easier to craft content when things are organized in advance.
3. Creating content. You can create a video course or pack your content in PDF files, but if you want to engage learners, opt for an interactive format. Thanks to modern software, you don’t need tech skills to create great online courses. You can make an interactive course by using an authoring tool like iSpring Suite. The software is integrated with PowerPoint, so if you’ve ever created presentations, navigating iSpring Suite will be a breeze.
With iSpring Suite, you can create:
-Slide-based courses. Convert your existing slides into online courses or build courses from scratch the same way you make a presentation.
-Quizzes. Make interactive quizzes quickly with 14 ready-made question templates, including multiple-choice, sequence questions, hotspots, and drag-and-drops.
-Role-play simulations. Create interactive role-plays to help learners master their communication skills. These are especially helpful if you’re going to create courses on sales and customer service-related topics.
-Video tutorials. Record video lectures to explain complex topics and screencast if you’re going to teach your learners how to work with specific software like Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Excel.
Aside from streamlining eLearning content creation, authoring tools like iSpring Suite make content SCORM compatible. That means your courses can be sold to entire companies that use LMSs to educate their employees.
If you’re new to course development, read this guide on online course creation – it will walk you through each step, from idea generation to publishing.
4. Prepare and Launch
When your course materials are ready, think of how and where learners will access them. You can either host them on your own website (which is preferable for large eLearning businesses) or share your content on a third-party platform. As a startup, you might want to consider launching on popular established marketplaces – it will be faster and more convenient than creating your own website.
Next, figure out the price of your course: calculate the cost of course production, the customer segments you intend to reach, the worth of your course in terms of training value, the platform’s fees, and how you want your brand to be perceived.
And now, when your course is ready and you’ve checked all boxes as completed, it’s time to launch sales. Good luck!
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