6 Steps to Financial Freedom with Online CoursesMay 25, 2021
Dreaming of financial freedom? Online courses are a huge opportunity to build passive income. In this guide, we'll share 6 steps to financial freedom with online courses.
“Financial freedom” means different things to different people — for some, it might refer to the ability to pay bills, take vacations, and make purchases without having to check a bank account first. For others, it might be more about overall financial stability rather than excess. Either way, one thing is true no matter who you ask: Everyone wants to obtain a level of financial freedom in their lives, and many are willing to do anything to get there. Whether it be through continued education, making sacrifices in daily or yearly spending, changing jobs, or something else — financial freedom is a universal desire.
While there are many methods for achieving financial freedom, one up-and-coming route involves creating online courses to share skills, expertise, and more, with people who are willing to pay to know what you know. In fact, the e-learning market is expected to exceed $300 Billion by 2025. People are especially attracted to the flexibility, affordability, and variety of quality online courses. As more and more of us invest in education and lifelong learning, the demand for top-tier courses with a sophisticated user experience will grow.
The interest in creating and selling online courses can be attributed to it being a great way to earn passive income on the side. Virtually anybody has the opportunity to develop a course and put it out into the world, as everyone has something they’re good at and can teach to others. In this article, we’ll discuss how to get started, how to determine what skills can be monetized, and how creating online courses can be one of many steps to achieving financial freedom.
Six Ways to Successfully Sell Your Online Course
Sharing your knowledge to help others grow and creating an income stream simultaneously makes online course creation one of the most popular ways to make money online.
Offering quality online courses can help grow your brand awareness and influence, establish you as an expert in your industry, attract a loyal customer base, and get you well on your way to financial independence. But this isn’t possible without the implementation of successful strategies.
Let’s take a look at six ways to put your online course on the pathway to success.
1. Visualize Success First
You experience a range of emotions when you decide you want to create an online course. You could be excited about the lifestyle that can be achieved with a successful online course. And the next thing you know, you feel entirely overwhelmed by the creation process, potentially overshadowing your overall goal of financial freedom.
To remain focused on creating, completing, and launching a course, you must first believe you can achieve success. You must visualize what you want before you can get it. Turning your vision into a reality starts with a clear concept of how you want your course to turn out.
You start visualizing success by putting together a vision board. Use a physical posterboard or digital alternative to make a collage of how you see business and personal success should your online course take off.
2. Set a Reasonable Price for Your Course
Your online course won’t be successful if no one buys it. So, you must be intentional about setting a reasonable price for your course. Online courses can cost anywhere from $10 to $1000 or more, depending on your business goals.
When deciding on a price point, consider the following:
- How many hours you spent on creating your online course.
- Other business costs associated with creation, launch, and marketing.
- What you’re creating (i.e., an eight-week course, 2-day Bootcamp, 1-year extensive training program).
- How you’re offering your course (via email, a platform like Kajabi, PDF).
- Your audience’s income level.
- The likelihood of someone paying for what you teach.
You should choose a pricing model that best suits your course. Cost-based pricing involves adding a fee to manufacturing costs, while market-based pricing considers the price of other similar products on the market. You’ll also want to consider offering payment plans if your audience is more likely to buy with you for $150 a month versus a single payment of $1800.
To ensure you’re choosing the right price for your online course, do some in-depth competitor and target audience research. Find out if your course will resonate with your target audience, if your price point is reasonable based on competitor pricing, and so forth. On top of that, consider your own needs and goals while you seek financial security — what do you need to pay bills, utilities, work down debt, and more? What price point would work not only for potential customers, but for your own needs, as well?
3. Design a Marketing Strategy
Creating an engaging, informative, value-filled online course is only part of the hard work necessary for a successful launch. You should be putting in an extensive effort to market your online course and reach as many people in your target audience as possible. The more engaged your network is with your brand, the better chance of them converting into loyal customers.
Engage your target audience on all of the platforms they use the most. This could be email, social media, websites, search engines, streaming services, television, radio, or events. Think about how many people would be interested in your course and how you can market it with a benefit-first approach. You should be sharing with your audience exactly how your course can change and improve their lives.
Research your market and find out how many people are looking for a solution to the problem your online course solves. What gap can you fill in your industry with the knowledge you have? You should ensure that all of the platforms you use for your marketing efforts are customer-centric and prioritizing user experience.
4. Build Your Presence on Social Media
Although an email list is usually the start of many businesses’ approaches to building brand awareness, social media is becoming a more convenient, popular, technologically-advanced avenue. Millions of people across the world use social media daily. So, it’s wise to build your presence on social media to ensure you’re promoting your online course to your audience efficiently. After all, without an audience to purchase your courses, you’ll find the road to financial independence a long, drawn-out one.
Memorable, approachable, visible brands on social media can easily feed their audience products and services that address their pain points. Online courses are appealing to social media users because they cater to their already established love of technology and the internet. Social media gives you an opportunity to share more details about the creation process and the overall journey to the finished product and beyond.
Consistency is critical with social media. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Clubhouse, Pinterest, or YouTube, you’ll want to ensure you’re creating engaging, valuable content about your brand and this online course project.
Build up the excitement for your online course each day with:
- Behind-the-scenes content on how you’re creating your course.
- Polls asking your followers what they’d like to learn.
- Lives updating them on progress.
- Sneak peeks of excerpts from the course.
- Special discounts or free access to your course for engaged followers.
5. Scale Your Product Line with Upsells
One of the best ways to ensure your online course gains long-term traction is to offer other products that complement the course. Offering additional products that further the online course experience and address additional education necessary for success is an excellent customer-retention strategy.
You can offer access to additional paid content or products or provide freebies that attract quality leads. Upsells also aid the overall goal of financial freedom. They give you supplementary ways to expand your passive income stream.
Deliver a consistent customer experience by first creating other quality digital products that can accompany your digital course. This product could be templates, planners, short courses, access to an upcoming course, a membership to your community, or one-on-one mentorship opportunities. Additional products should come over time and be based on the feedback you get from those who’ve bought your course.
6. Conduct Monthly/Quarterly Financial Reviews
Finally, to make the connection between financial freedom and creating a successful online course as firm as it can be, you should be conducting monthly and/or quarterly financial reviews. So many course creators focus solely on generating sales as fast as possible when they should be placing just as much attention on understanding finances and setting the right financial foundations.
Monthly or quarterly reviews of your finances can help you:
- Assess profit margins.
- Analyze the demand for your course.
- Keep track of your financial goals.
- Implement good bookkeeping strategies.
- Eliminate any shady business practices.
- Provide insights and awareness on your customers’ buying patterns.
- Understand the bigger picture of your business’s financial health.
- Set up an accounting system that tracks, measures, and helps you understand your finances.
- Separate your personal and business banking.
- Highlight your cash flow opportunities.
- Create a structure to support tax payments.
- Ongoing business financial literacy.
- Learn how to create a cash flow-positive business.
Set aside regular time to assess your financial situation and see how well your course is performing. Ensure you’re able to produce financial reports, interpret them, and make data-driven decisions for your course’s future. Take action as needed to change your pricing, introduce a new course, eliminate a course, or change the way you track your profits.
What Can a Successful Online Course Do for You?
Many of us are striving to create or invest in an income-producing asset. If you want to stop exchanging time for money and spend more time doing the things you love with the people you love the most, a successful online course can help.
Successfully selling courses allows you to move towards financial freedom by generating passive income where you don’t have to be present to get paid. Instead of having to travel to an office for 8 hours to make $160, you can sell a few online courses from the comfort of your own home and for much more money.
You can use this passive income first to pay off any existing personal debt. Carrying loads of debt can be counterproductive to your business vision. You’ll never be able to experience what it’s like to pocket the profit and reinvest it to better your courses, expand your product/service line, create additional content, and better your business overall.
Use the income you make from your online course to consolidate debt and then pay it off entirely in a shorter period. You could also explore repairing your credit to move toward a better financial future.
Ensure that you’re serious about creating a quality online course because it will take a lot of time, effort, and energy to create a successful product. Create the financial, time, location, or lifestyle freedom you crave with a course that’s carefully crafted.
With so many people on the hunt for focused education, expanded knowledge, and better career opportunities, it may be beneficial to create, launch, and manage an online course. Online courses are known for their passive income potential and how open it is for anyone to create one.
Creating a quality course is just the beginning of your work as a course creator. You’re also responsible for selling and promoting it in the most efficient and effective ways. A reasonable price, ability to visualize success, a strong marketing strategy, an intentional social media presence, financial reviews, and willingness to scale your product line are all ways to sell your online course successfully.
When you successfully sell your online course and create a long-term passive income vehicle such as this, you give yourself the opportunity for true financial freedom.
Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he's learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work.