Creating Your First Online Course- Step 1: Market Research

Although the first step in creating an eCourse your audience loves SEEMS obvious, I find most people try to skip this step and jump right into creating the content (step 3).

Your online course requires a ton of research and in depth understanding of your target market before ever stepping foot into the content creation zone, otherwise you are going to be creating a course that nobody wants.

Don’t create an online course that nobody wants!

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In order to avoid this we recommend a few things,

Focus on Solving Problems

What are your target markets specific problems related to your expertise or what you teach and provide support for? Outline ALL the problems they have surrounding the topic. Don’t just go by what you think their problems are, actually ask and know them intimately.

Focus on External AND Internal Solutions

When putting together an online course, all of us think we know what our problem is surrounding a particular topic, right? Such as losing weight, for example. Externally the problems around this are that we don’t feel good about ourself, we want to fit into different clothes, etc. We externally think the problem can be solved with a magic pill, or a healthy eating and exercise routine.

But the truth is, there are a lot of internal problems surrounding weight loss as well. Things you have to work through emotionally in order to create long lasting changes. Likely some deep self esteem problems and issues sticking with new tough disciplines. Those internal problems need to be addressed in your course as well but you have to take care in how you use them in your marketing.

If your goal was weight loss, would you want to sign up for “21 Days to Better Self Esteem” or “10 Pounds in 21 Days”? Of course, those internal problems and solutions DO need to be in the program, just not highlighted in the marketing lingo.

This is important to note going into the next part of your market research.

Survey Your Audience

Once you have the biggest problems your audience are having in a language they understand and will identify with, you can start to put together surveys. Here is where you will get specific around your topic, find out what they are wanting help with the MOST and how they want the help.

If you are just getting your online course started, we suggest starting with a 1 question survey with a big list of potential topics. The list allows your audience to tick all of the topics interesting to them and then you can see which ones got the most ticks. Those should be your first courses.

Be sure to use enticing language around each topic, something that is punchy and showing off the benefits. This is the difference between a suggested topic “Project Management 101” or “How to get your client projects organized, on track, and without the overwhelm!”. You can see the latter is touching on specifics around project management and touches on some of their internal problems too (overwhelm).

Consider if your audience will even know what the words in your question mean. In this example, if my target market was freelancers who have never been in a corporate setting then “project management” isn’t going to resonate with them. They don’t know that they need it. So I have to specifically outline the symptoms they are having with the problem vs. just saying the solution.

All these little things matter so you can get accurate results from your market research and create a course your audience will be lining up for!

If you’d like some help in getting your eCourse planned out or a full online course creation consultation, grab a time on my calendar >>HERE and we’ll create a plan to get your message out.


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