Mega-Guide To Creating An Online Course, Parts 1 & 2
You want to create your own online course.
And, let’s be honest, you really want that rad Kajabi Hero t-shirt...
But where do you start?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a step-by-step guide, showing you exactly how to go from no idea whatsoever all the way through the process until you finally get paid?
Yeah. We think so too.
Courses are the best way to build passive income long term. You frontload the work in the beginning and keep making money from your effort for the rest of your life.
And the market right now is juicy...
- In 2015 e-courses hit $107 billion in revenue.
- Mobile devices, are also working in favor of course creators. Mobile learning is projected to hit over $12.2 million this year.
- And the market on e-courses is only getting bigger. It’s projected that each year the market will grow over 20%.
The time to get in on this is right NOW!
Nearly all of the content out there that tries to explain how to create an online course can be so confusing and complicated. You walk away from it with a migraine, convinced that it’s not a process that can work for you.
We believe that things should be as easy to understand as possible, with all the details included.
The deal is, a lot of other platforms are so secretive about how to start your course business from square one. They are more concerned with getting you to pay them without giving you the actual framework you need to be successful. I know, I’ve bought some of those courses too, and it’s beyond frustrating.
I don’t believe that’s right.
Kajabi is about more than selling you a platform. We want to equip you with every detail you need to build the business, lifestyle, and freedom you want.
We have over 1,000 Kajabi Heroes who have made $1,000+ with our platform. We’ve done countless interviews, and accumulated all of their secrets, tips, and tricks that led to their success. If we kept all of that valuable information to ourselves… it would be a crime.
So here I am giving you an all-inclusive guide to building a successful course from start to finish! This guide is going to be huge...
So huge I had to divide it into FOUR separate, mega-guides to give you everything you need to be successful with Kajabi.
Some may call it over-sharing or giving away too many secrets, but the deal is: we want to see you succeed. Actually… this series may land us some backlash from other platforms for giving away too much information for free. But I’m not worried about that. I’m more concerned with your success.
I’m not holding anything back.
So grab a cup of coffee, get ready to take some notes, and let’s get started!
Build A Solid Foundation
I’ve gotta warn you.
This may be one of the most challenging parts in this series. But it is the most vital to your success. And so many people leave this part out.
The "big dogs" can be a little stingy with the specific info, or they're such E-course veterans that reading their guides and articles will make you feel incapable or overwhelmed.
Here's a secret: It's not you, it's them.
You are capable, and this guide will give you the tools and information you need to get through your first course launch even if you are brand spankin’ new to this, as in literally starting from scratch. And if you’ve got some experience under your belt, this will only accelerate your results. This first section will guide you through a transformation process.
“My bet is that your small act of entrepreneurship is manifested as the choice you make to alter your life; to go through the pain of detaching yourself from what you usually do and attempt a new course of action; the pain of choosing to be resilient in the face of adversity; the gut wisdom of taking a risk because you know that you just can’t do ‘more of the same.’” -Donna M. De Carolis, Forbes.
The key to being a successful entrepreneur is in your mindset. A mindset that anyone is capable of adopting, no matter how stuck you are in your “employee” way of thinking.
Get Your Head In The Game
What if I told you that the biggest thing holding you back from building your course is all in your head?
Your whole life you have been building up these mental blocks in your head. You write a rulebook for yourself that holds all of your beliefs and truths. Your actions every day are based on these rules.
The rules can be as simple as:
- If I touch that hot skillet without an oven mitt I’ll get burned.
- If I stay up past midnight I can’t wake up at 5:00am the next day.
- If I forget to keep track of my budget, I won’t be able to pay my rent.
Then there are bigger ones. The rules that impact the course of your life:
- Stealing is wrong, if I steal I will have a hard life ahead of me.
- I’m a shy person, so I should avoid stressful social situations.
- I’ve always been overweight, but nothing I do has ever changed that so I’ll always be overweight.
The truths in your rulebook guides your life whether they are actually true or not.
So how does this relate to you? What does this have to do with creating online courses?
Today, we’re going to deal with the professional section of your rule book and toss out any mental blocks you’ve put there for yourself.
Take a moment to reflect on your core beliefs when it comes to starting your own business. This can be a tough one. Some of these rules are so ingrained in your thinking it's second nature. Even if you try to implement a new truth the old one is still there in the background forcing the new one out.
I can't get into your head and identify them for you specifically, but here is a list of some of the common “rules” people believe when it comes to being an entrepreneur:
- I don't have enough money to start my own business.
You know the saying, “You got to spend the money to make money.” We've all heard it. But this phrase can stop you in your tracks before you even get going.
You zero that part out automatically, don't you? I know I did at first.
But did you realize it doesn't give a specific amount?
Things have changed in a big way. You don't need thousands of dollars to throw at a new business before you can even start making a profit. The internet has created such a low barrier to entry for new entrepreneurs (lower than it’s ever been in history).
Most people already have the tools that they need to get started:
1. A computer.
It doesn't have to be the best computer out there. You can even borrow a computer from someone else if you have to. But chances are you already have a computer available to you.
2. An internet connection.
We live in a world with so many free Wi-Fi hotspots. You could get your business started sitting in a coffee shop, a library, even Starbucks if you wanted to.
3. A smartphone.
Video marketing is huge right now. And video can be a great element to add to your course. iPhones have such a great camera you don't have to shell out a whole lot for an expensive piece of video equipment just starting out. Even if you don't have an iPhone, any smartphone out there has a way for you to record video. It doesn't have to be the best. You can always upgrade later.
I know what you're thinking: What about the platform?
That's why the Kajabi offers a free 14-day trial! Using this guide and the free trial you can start your business with little to no upfront cost. And the strategies that I'm going to outline will make it easier than ever and faster than ever to launch your first course on Kajabi.
I don't have enough time to start my own business.
I understand. You're a busy person. You are juggling so much right now the thought of adding another project to that seems daunting. But did you know that courses are one of the best ways to get started as a business owner?
Courses are one of the best side hustles out there. Not only that, they have quicker returns than common ways of making passive income online. You aren’t relying on web traffic or ads on a blog to generate passive income. Because of that, you can be very successful with lower traffic, and a smaller audience.
So what does that mean for a busy person?
Less time list building.
Any course can be built part-time on the side. And with the methods I'm going to share with you, it will take even less time than building a full course and then launching it. (But we’ll get into the deets on that later.)
I'm not saying you won't have to sacrifice. You may have to give up a few things to make the time for your business. But anyone can find the time to do this. You don't need to put in full-time hours to be successful.
- I have to be an expert before I can start my own business.
This is a big one. We have a glorified, romanticized image of people who have built successful courses. We label them experts without really knowing who they are or who they were before they started their journey.
Our Kajabi Heroes were just like you: normal people.
Everyone has a passion, skill, or knowledge that they can share with the world. And at Kajabi we’ve seen at all. No one started out as an expert. Every single one of our Heroes started out with something they wanted to share with the world.
You don't have to be a guru.
And any gaps that you might have in your knowledge you can fill using online research.
- There's no sense in creating a course when people could just find the information for themselves for free.
This could be said about any course out there. People could find this information for free. People could go out there and through trial and error figure it out themselves.
But people don't want to do that.
They want to solve their problems in the quickest, most efficient, and easiest way possible. Even though the information is out there for free people don’t want to spend hours hunting it down for themselves. People don't want to waste years of trial and error before they can solve their problems.
They want something that works, they want it fast, and they want it packaged in a way that's easy to understand and follow through. When you create a course, you do all the work for other people, and you deliver the information that they want in the easiest way possible.
Why do people hit the fast food drive-through instead of just cooking a meal at home? The answer is convenience.
The list could go on and on. Chances are you know exactly which “rules” are holding you back. So how do you rewrite them? How do you change your thinking?
Rewrite Your Rulebook
This isn’t an easy task. You have been reinforcing these rules your whole life, and going against them will feel uncomfortable.
The brain is really efficient at creating neural pathways. Like a trail in the dirt that you walk again and again. Each time you walk it the path gets smoother and easier to navigate.
If you have spent your whole life believing that you can’t start your own successful business, that neural pathway has directed your thoughts and actions for a long time. The path is familiar and well-worn. Stepping off that path, your brain will fight you to get back on it.
But the good news is that neural pathways can be rerouted, changed, and become just as familiar to you as the old way of thinking.
The key is practice and repetition.
It will feel unnatural at first, but the more you keep at it, the easier it will be. You are trying to form new habits and thought patterns to replace the established ones. The ones that are holding you back from starting your own business.
That kinda thing takes time before it feels comfortable.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the line, “It takes 21 days to form a new habit.”
I’m going to give it to you straight. The truth is, that number is complete BS.
A cosmetic surgeon named Maxwell Maltz came up with that in the 1960’s without any real studies to back it. But people recorded it as a scientific truth in their rulebooks and ran with it.
So what’s the real number?
There’s got to be an actual study on forming new habits right?
In 2009 the University College London studied 96 participants. The average time it took to establish a new habit so that it was an automatic thing was 66 days.
The study was a small one, but the numbers are more realistic than a maxim coined by a plastic surgeon with no background in psychology.
Depending on the person, it took as little as 18 days all the way up to 254 days for new habits to set in stone.
The point is, everyone is different. Age, background, and personality traits can all have an effect on how easy it will be for you to forge new neural pathways that work for your business.
But (keeping that in mind) I want to challenge you to rewrite your rule book for at least 66 days with a strategy I will lay down for you below. But first, you need to know what to replace your negative mental blocks, and “rules” with.
You Are The CEO
I do not care if you are living in your parents’ basement, bumming their food and Wifi. You have to adopt a CEO mindset to be successful in business.
You can run your online business with dreadlocks and board shorts if that’s what you want to do. But if you don’t run your business like a boss you are going to have a rough time staying afloat.
How do you talk to yourself? (Not in a creepy, “get this person a straight jacket ASAP” kinda way.)
What does your thought life look like? How does your rulebook affect how you think?
Even if you are in the worst situation in your life, you can adopt the CEO mindset. And it will spill over to affect your actions and set a solid foundation for your online business.
If you’re a single mom with bad credit, think of yourself as the boss babe you are and hustle.
If you’re a guy with only $300 to your name and no business experience to speak of, you can transform yourself into a business beast.
Don’t get me wrong. I want to clarify before we move on.
This doesn’t mean: “Oh, I have to spend 66 days or more getting my head right before I can start building my course with Kajabi!”
So if you just scribbled that one down in your mental rulebook take an eraser or some whiteout to that stat!
Hear me out.
This mindset stuff is going to be running in the background through this whole process. While you are building your course, you are cultivating your CEO mindset as you go.
If you are waiting to have the right mindset down pat before you start building your course, you’ll never get started. This, my friend, is called procrastination. And it can be just another mental block holding you back.
Don’t think of yourself as a person trying to start your own business. Think of yourself as a business owner already. Own it. Like it’s already ingrained into who you are as a person.
A Simple Exercise to Change Your Thinking
Now that you understand the basics of changing your mindset I want to lay out a course of action to put all this knowledge into practice.
Ever heard of thought replacing?
If you aren’t familiar with this technique, don’t worry! It’s simple and very effective when it comes to rewriting your rulebook. This though replacement exercise will help you eliminate beliefs that will get in the way when you start building your course.
- You’ll need a pen and notebook.
- Or your favorite note-taking app.
You’ll start this process manually at first. But eventually, you can do this exercise mentally when you feel any fear or anxiety while working through this series and building your course.
Whenever you have a negative thought about yourself or your business, you’re going to break out your notebook and write some things down.
1. The trigger.
Write down what happened to provoke the negative feelings in your mind. Even if your negativity has been weighing you down for a long time, you can usually pinpoint a recent event that stirred all the gunk up in your head. Don’t go all the way back. Find the recent trigger.
Example: I told my dad my course idea. He shrugged it off and started telling me how lucky I am to have the job that I do.
2. Physical side-effects.
Tune in on what you feel in your body. Anxiety and stress affect you physically in many forms. It could be a tightness in your chest, headache, burning feeling on your face, or even feeling sick to your stomach. Whatever it may be, write it down.
Example: I felt a little light headed and sick to my stomach.
3. The thoughts you are speaking to yourself.
Write down the specific negative thought you are having. We all speak to ourselves, and here is the place to record that dialogue and recognize it. Stuffing it away isn't the best strategy. It will just build up and explode. You have to acknowledge your thoughts so you can replace the negative thought with a positive one.
Example: Maybe he’s right. It’s a bad idea and I should stick with my day job because I’ll only fail.
4. Where these negative thoughts originated from.
Here’s the part where you go back. Try and identify the point in time you first wrote this negative thought down in your rulebook.
Example: My uncle tried to start a video rental store, and dumped tons of money into it. He quit his job, only to have the business tank. My dad told him from the start it was a bad idea, and he was right. He had a business loan he couldn’t pay and defaulted on his mortgage. My dad still brings it up as a joke at family gatherings.
5. Do I have any evidence to support the negativity?
Briefly, jot down any solid proof you have in favor or against this thought. Kinda like a pros and cons list. Is this thought really valid? And if it was in the past, does it really apply to you now?
My uncle did have a rough time because of his failed business. It took him years to bounce back.
I’ve tried a few things online here and there, but never really accomplished much because of my fears.
I do have a decent job. Benefits, and stability.
Things have changed a lot since my uncle tried to start his business. I don’t need to take out a hefty loan to get started.
When I did pursue an online income before I did make a little money and a lot of people make a living online, but my dad’s negative comments squashed my motivation so I gave them all up.
I may have a good job, but I’d be selling myself short by not pursuing this. I don’t want to live to clock in and out on someone else’s terms. I think I have something more to offer the world.
6. How will this thought help or hurt me long term?
Will beating yourself up help you in the long run? Has that ever actually worked out for you? What purpose does this thought serve: motivation to change, or maybe just the temporary satisfaction of a personal pity party. What will this thought do for you that a positive replacement won’t? Write it down.
Example: This thought has only held me back all my life. And that’s not going to change if I keep hanging it over my head. Things have got to change if I’m going to reach my goals.
7. What is a positive replacement for this thought that gets me closer to my business goals?
Here’s the best part! Swap out the negative thought for a positive one. I’m not talking sunshine and rainbow unicorn poop here. The most powerful positive thoughts are based in reality; something attainable.
Example: I may not know if I’ll be the success I want, but I’m going to give it my all. I know I can make it work and prove my dad wrong. I owe it to myself to give it my all.
8. How can I put this thought into action to grow my business?
Make a list of how you can actually take the new, positive thought and put it into action.
- Write down your victories so far, big or small for a pick me up.
- Do something that will get you closer to your goals in your business.
- Take a break if you are burned out. (Yes, workaholic, I’m talking you.) A quick nap, walk, or cup of coffee might refresh your mind and increase your productivity.
- I’m going to spend at least 30 minutes today researching and taking notes on how to run a business. And study some successful online entrepreneurs who are where I want to be in my business. (like our Kajabi Heroes for example... ) ;)
- I’m going to write down my goals and good business plan.
- I need to set boundaries when it comes to my dad and my business. Find other subjects to talk about with him.
- I need to find positive people in my life to talk about my business and encourage me along the way. I’m going to join a Facebook group specifically for that.
Throughout this whole series, keep your notebook close. Anytime you have a thought that is getting in the way of your business run through this exercise.
Do this until the habit becomes second nature.
As a side note: If you’ve never heard bullet journaling before, it’s helpful to leave the first couple pages blank to create an index for all of your negative thoughts.
Write a page number on every page. When you finish filling out your thought replacement exercise thumb back to your index. List the page numbers and the negative thought so you can find it fast. That way when you have the same negative thought pop up, you can refer to it. Like so:
- 15-16… Negative thought: “I don’t have enough experience to build a successful course.”
- 16-17: Negative thought: “I’m so overwhelmed! There’s no way I can do all of this myself.”
- 17-19: Negative thought: “Building a list is too hard, there is no way I’ll get a big enough list to have a successful launch!”
Your mental blocks and self-limiting rules will be the biggest obstacle you face when it comes to building your course. How you think and how you talk about your business, will have an enormous impact on your actions.
When you think, talk, and act like a CEO you will build a foundation for your business that can’t be shaken.
Guard Your Business From Outside Threats
You are doing something you’ve never done before, and your neural pathways are set in their ways. Your brain is going to constantly try and pull you back into your old ways because you are going against years and years of habits.
But you may also have outside forces working against you too.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have the full support of their family and friends. That’s just the reality for a lot of people today. And dealing with this the right way is going to make it easier to reach your goals in your business.
Using effective strategies to block out negativity is crucial, even if it's from a spirit of care and concern.
Yep. You read that right.
Sometimes the people that care about you the most can have the biggest negative impact on your business. You see, sometimes people care about you so much they want to protect you from risky situations. And while they are driven by a desire to save you from the pain of failure, it can plant seeds of doubt in your mind.
Place healthy boundaries around you and your business. You don't have to open yourself up to other people's negativity, and you shouldn't. Chances are, you already know who these people are in your life.
So how do you protect your mind and your business from external negativity?
1. Keep interaction to a minimum.
Put a little distance during this creation process. Don’t discuss your business with the negative people in your life. The ones that truly care may come around when you have tangible proof that you are onto a good thing, but be prepared that your success won't win over everyone.
2. Know which battles to fight, and when to walk away.
You do not have to interact with everyone that disagrees with you. And you shouldn't. It's not healthy. Maintain the dignity and respect of a CEO. You can calmly walk away instead of allowing toxic people and their negative poison into your life.
3. Gather your cheerleaders.
Find your supporters. Find the people who believe in you, even if the only way to find them is on social media. Sometimes you can't go it alone, so it's crucial to have at least one person to cheer you on, listen to you vent, and offer a different perspective or approach if you need it.
By guarding your business and setting boundaries, you will empower yourself, and keep building momentum. Don’t allow anyone to steal your power by influencing you in a negative way.
We have over 6,000+ people in our Kajabi Member Mastermind for this very reason, so plug into our Facebook group, and mastermind with like-minded entrepreneurs on your journey.
Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone Is The New “Normal”
If all of this talk of a CEO mindset is making you fidget on the other side of this screen…
Throughout this series, you may feel a little light headed. The butterflies in your stomach will unleash Red Bull fueled acrobatics. And you may wake up some days in a cold sweat, scared out of your mind.
That means you are stepping out of your comfort zone. You are expanding your mind, and limits to do something you’ve never done before. When you’re mind and emotions are resisting this process then it’s a good sign you’re on the right track.
Imagine a circle. You’ve lived your whole life in this circle, operating within its walls and boundaries.
But your course, and ultimately the business that you want to create, is somewhere outside of this circle.
Depending on where you’re at right now in life, that could be just outside the border, or it could be miles away.
I can’t tell you for sure.
Following this process will get you out of that circle to create your first online course. And everything in you is going to try to pull you back into that safe, little circle.
But if you stick with this process, that circle will expand and become comfortable. Once that happens, get back out of that circle.
The life of an entrepreneur means continual growth, and ventures outside of your comfort zone. You stay in your circle too long, and you will stop growing. You stop growing… your business will too.
Embrace The Possibility Of Failure
No way I could end this without throwing the f-word at you.
Failure. Such a scary word. Maybe the biggest thing keeping you in your comfort zone. But the thing is. You don’t have to be afraid of failure.
Be afraid of not getting back up.
So what if you fail? You can learn so much from failure. If… you get back up and try again.
If you really want to do this. If you really want to build your course, then you need to develop your staying power.
Don’t be afraid to fail, because you can learn a valuable lesson that will get you that much closer to your success. That’s another aspect of the CEO mindset you want to develop. The ability to bounce back from failure and try again.
One of our Kajabi Heroes, Bob Heilig, made over $200,000 his very first month after monetizing his business. That is extremely impressive, but you want to know the best part?
Before the six months of preparation leading up to his success, he failed two online businesses within seven months. But Bob didn’t let that keep him down.
If you let the fear of failure hold you back, you are missing out on your real potential. And for those of you who have failed…
It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed once, or ten times before. Get back up! You may be right there. You may be that close to your big breakthrough.
Let’s Take This Journey Together
I know it’s a lot to take in, but I have faith that anyone can make this process work for them. I could’ve started this series off, by breaking straight into the how to’s and nitty gritty of building your first course with Kajabi, but this is the nitty gritty, my friend.
Your CEO mindset is the foundation that your whole business will stand on. And if I didn’t equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to radically change your thinking, it would be that much harder to get through your first course launch.
And Kajabi is passionate about giving you the total package; filling in the crucial gaps missing in your business.
Let me know in the comments below what you found most useful in this first part of our course creation series. And let the world know that starting today, you are stepping up as the CEO of your new business.
Mark this day as the day you started your journey. We’re here to cheer you on! And if you continue on this journey… if you make these radical changes to your thinking: your life could look radically different in a year or less.
I promise you do not want to miss the next part of this series. Next time we will be building on the foundation of your business with some solid framework you need to put in place before you launch your first course with Kajabi.
I’ll cover how to:
- How to niche down your market (even if you think your niche is too “out there” or narrow to be viable)
- How to find your target audience and finding their “pain points”.
- How to grow your list using proven tactics (no wasting time on a method or platform that doesn’t work.)
Our subscribers will be the first to know when we drop part two of this course creation series.
This series is just getting started! And by the end, you will have everything you need to build, market, and launch your first successful course.
Start reading part 2 below!
Creating An Online Course, Part 2
Welcome to Part 2 of our Create An Online Course Mega-Guide!
Now that covered the mindset you need to turn your passion into profit, we need to talk about having the right framework for your course... every successful course needs one to thrive.
Last time we talked about how to develop your CEO mindset, and how this mindset will be the solid foundation your business needs to be successful. (If you are just joining us then be sure to check out the last part in this course creation series here. Don’t be tempted to skip ahead, Part 1 is so crucial to this whole process.)
Now that you have an understanding of what it takes to get your head in the right place, grab your notebook, and get ready to build some solid framework for your course.
Here's what I'll cover in Part 2:
- Picking your niche.
- Finding your ideal audience.
- Growing your list using through an optimized website, and the best social media platform for your business.
- Plus a lot of extras and tutorials in between.
Today we are working on setting everything up so that each element is in place for your first big launch.
Each layer of this process leads to the next, building a well-rounded business and course launch without being overwhelming.
If you’re a note-taker, then you can file your notes safely in the same notebook you used to do your thought replacement exercises. Just index the page numbers for quick reference when you’re done.
10-14…. Notes on Part 2: Building a Framework.
That way all of your data you need to build your course is all in one spot for easy reference.
We’re going to tackle a lot of marketing meat today, so make sure not to slack on your thought replacement exercises.
Let’s dive right in and explore some crucial framework your business needs before you build and launch your course.
Building A Solid Framework For Your Online Course
To get the best start possible, there are a few things you need to set in place before you even start working on your course.
So where do you start with this framework?
Pick Your Profitable Niche (Timeframe: 20-60 minutes)
Too many people approach marketing the wrong way.
They pick a super broad niche, hoping that they will attract more attention by widening their reach. And I can see why beginners see it that way.
Bigger “net” equals more “fish” right?
That may work if you work on a fishing boat, but when it comes to online marketing selecting a profitable niche… That strategy isn’t going to fly.
You need to narrow your focus, not broaden it.
So what’s a niche anyway?
noun: niche plural noun: niches noun: one's niche plural noun: one's niches
A specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.”
Without a niche, you are flying blind with your marketing efforts. You have no clear purpose or direction in your business.
Laser-Focus Your Niche: Why You Need to Get Specific
If you want to sell your course, you need a specific kind of person in your audience.
You need to attract people who will buy what you have to offer. To attract those people you need to market yourself to a specific and narrow niche.
The key here is quality, not quantity. You can have thousands of people in your list. But if none of them are interested in what you have to sell… well, good luck with that.
When you niche down a small list is powerful.
Here’s a list of some general niches that have been successful on Kajabi:
- Art & Design
- Health & Fitness
- Personal Development
- Social Media
This is a good place to start. And I’m sure you feel drawn to at least one of these niches. (And if not, don’t sweat it. By the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly what you want your course to be about.)
But even these niches are too broad.
You need to narrow your niche down even more.
Let’s get some actual numbers to see if there is a market for your specific niche.
And if you have no clue what niche you want to set up shop in, this technique will help you find the best profitable niche for you.
Find A Profitable Niche In Two Steps
1. Go to Google’s KeyWord Planner.
Start thinking of a rough idea of a niche you are passionate about.
For example: let’s say you are a great typist. You can type 80+ words per minute on a keyboard have figured out a lot of tips and tricks along the way.
How could you select a niche based off that?
Head on over to the keyword planner and make sure to select “Search for new ideas using a phrase, website, or category.”
For this example I typed in “how to type faster.”
You want at least 1,000 searches per month. If you have at least that, there is a good interest in your idea.
You can see already that the phrase “how to type faster” is searched for 10k-100k times a month. Variations on the keyword phrase are extremely promising too!
Another thing to look at is the competition. It’s low for this phrase. With that kinda of serious search volume, and very little to compete with this could be a very, very nice niche to settle into.
So what do you do if your ideal niche has less than 1,000 searches a month?
Option #1: You can try modifying your search to find the keywords that get more attention.
Just a simple rephrasing can alter your results. Rearranging your keyword phrase can have a huge affect on traffic.
Option #2: Go for it anyway.
You can run keywords all day, but if you already know what you're passionate about, then it’s worth taking a stab at it.
Remember Greg Todd, the Hero who teaches marketing to physical therapists? (Click here to read his story.)
Here’s a look at the search volume for his niche:
Not only is the search volume low, the competition for that market is pretty cut-throat.
But Greg still managed to see success in his niche because of his passion. He saw a need in his market, and he bridged the gap to meet that need.
2. Scope out the competition
Now that you know your niche has the right search volume, let’s enter our phrase into Google to see what you’re up against.
Right away you can see that a typing niche appears to be a good market to share your knowledge with the world.
Out of all of these results, none of them offer a premium course.
And creating a course complete with video instruction and your first-hand knowledge has some pretty epic potential. (So if you are a great typist, feel free to steal this niche for your course. I won’t hold it against you.) :)
Another thing to notice is the lack of ads in the search. That means if you ever wanted to do any paid advertising, the market would be wide open for you.
If your search says competition is medium to high, that doesn’t mean you have to move on to something else.
If you are really passionate about something, then don’t let competition discourage you. That just means that you will really have to leverage your passion to stand out.
You remember Bob Heilig? His niche is network marketing.
Despite having a moderate amount of competition, Bob’s had killer success in his niche. (In case you forgot, this is the same dude who failed twice before in less than a year.)
So if you already have a niche in mind that you are passionate about don’t let the fear of competition stop you from sharing it.
If you are struggling with this, don’t over think it. Start listing things you are passionate about, good at, or know a lot about in the search box.
Don’t focus on picking the perfect niche to create your courses in forever. If you’re afraid you’ll be stuck with a niche you hate for the rest of your life, I’ll let you in on a little secret…
You can always change your niche later on if it’s not the right fit for you, or you just don’t enjoy it as much as you hoped. (Remember James Wedmore? The video marketing guru? His first money-making course was on bartending.)
And you know what?
Some people make a career out of building several different niche sites and courses.
The possibilities are endless.
Make sure to write your specific niche down in your notebook.
How To Find Your Ideal Audience (Timeframe: 20-45 mins)
Now that you have a specific niche, it’s time to add another piece of your course framework: your target audience.
One of the biggest pitfalls of new business owners is trying to appeal to everyone.
You can’t make everyone happy. But you can appeal to a specific type of people.
You also need to know who you are speaking to in your content, and ultimately your course.
We’ve all done this at one point in time or another.
As a kid, if you knew one parent would reject a request you’d ask the one who was most likely to say yes.
And you probably even timed your request when they were in a good mood.
Because you understood the concept of a target audience: appealing to the right person at the right time, to get your desired result.
So how do you find those people?
Get Inside The Head of Your Perfect Customer
You need to build relationships with the right people in your niche. Without those relationships, your course will not make it off the ground. And to know who these people are you need to answer a simple question.
Who benefits from what you offer in your niche and why?
Think about Greg Todd.
He is a physical therapist who saw a pain point for other physical therapists: they weren’t equipped with the tools and knowledge they needed to run a business in PT school.
Here are some examples from other Kajabi Heroes. See if you can identify the “who” and “why” in their target audiences.
- Pam Hendrickson
Niche: Creating/Marketing Products.
Target Audience: Entrepreneurs who want to create and market their own products to build the lifestyle and freedom they want.
- Jordan Valeriote
Niche: Hardcore Music Mixing, Editing
Target Audience: Musicians, music mixers, and producers in the music industry who want to create professional quality mixes for hardcore music.
- Kendra Wright
Niche: Personal Development, Facing Fears, Embracing risk
Target Audience: People who want to get over their fears and stop letting them get in the way of living life.
- Felicia Ricci
Niche: Music, Belt Singing
Target Audience: People (with or without a background in music) who want to learn how to belt sing.
- Leah Mchenry
Niche: Music, Online Artists
Target Audience: Musicians who want to build a professional music career online.
- Bob Heilig
Niche: Video Marketing, Branding For Home Business Entrepreneurs.
Target Audience: Network marketing professionals and home business entrepreneurs who want to grow their team and businesses and develop their own personal brand.
- Jeremy Henderson
Niche: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Target Audience: People who want to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from home and reach their martial arts goals.
This is just a snapshot. (Remember we have over 1,000 different Kajabi Heroes from any niche you can imagine.) But you can see the diversity and specific target audience for each niche.
There is no reason to overcomplicate this process. If you are struggling with identifying your target audience, just ask yourself:
Who benefits from what you offer in your niche and why?
Don’t worry about perfection here; you can always change and adapt this as you go through this series. But for right now, write down your target audience and move on to the next step.
How To Grow Your List (Timeframe: Ongoing while you build your course.)
Email marketing is the single most effective way to convert readers into customers.
If you don’t have an email list, your business has nothing to stand on, and your marketing efforts won’t produce the results you want.
You ready with your notebook?
We’re going to cover a lot in this section. But by the end, you will have a bulletproof framework for the course you’ll build in part 4 of this series.
Optimize A Website To Attract Relevant Traffic
When your website is optimized to appeal to your niche and your ideal audience it will attract exactly who you want in your list.
So how do you optimize a website?
It may sound complicated, but I promise you, it’s a simple process. (Plus, I’m here to walk you through it every step of the way.)
You want it to be extremely clear what your niche is as soon as someone stumbles across your site.
Your website isn’t the place to be coy and mysterious.
Here are some great examples our Heroes have built with the Kajabi platform. You know from first glance what each site has to offer.
Michelle Parsley, Elevate Your Art (Theme: Premier)
Niche: Photography, Photoshop Art
Target Audience: Professional artists and photographers who want to take their skills to the next level.
Diana Laverdure-Dunetz, My Healthy Dog (Theme: Primo)
Niche: Dog Nutrition and Diet
Target Audience: Dog owners who want to learn how to provide the best diet for their canine friends.
Allison and Michelle, The Dairy Detox (Theme: Premier)
Niche: Dairy Free Diet
Target Audience: People who want to eat plant-based, dairy-free diets to improve their health, feel better, and lose weight.
Shannon O'Brien, iSugar University (Theme: Premier)
Niche: Cosmetology, Body Sugaring
Target Audience: Cosmetologists who want to get their body sugaring certification to grow their businesses.
These Heroes’ niches are so diverse. But what do all of these sites have in common?
Not only are they very clean and professional, they are optimized for their niches and target audiences.
They are not all-inclusive.
They purposefully drive visitors away who have no interest in their niches, while drawing in the right people.
A Sleek And Professional Design
With Kajabi, this is the easiest step of the process. You don’t have to be a pro designer or juggle a hundred different plugins to get a polished and functional site.
Your site isn’t the place for gaudy designs. And if your website looks like it was built 10 years ago, it will be so hard for potential customers to take you seriously.
But don’t sweat it! Kajabi has several themes built in.
Plus templates for anything you’ll need in your business.
- Email opt-in pages
- Thank you pages
- Launch pages
- Webinar registration pages
- And more
You can pick your theme and get you website set up in less than 30 minutes.
Write Copy That Appeals To Your Ideal Audience
Copy. What do I mean by that?
Your web copy (or text) is crucial to an optimized website.
Your web copy is the roadmap for your visitors, guiding them through your site, and making it clear what you have to offer them. From your headlines, blocks of text, and even your website name, you want to be clear with your audience.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but your homepage isn’t the place to brag about your credentials and how awesome you are.
I know, I know.
You are new to this.
You feel like you have to prove you know what you’re talking about. And to do that you have to tell your visitors about how great you are, right?
Eh… not so much.
Your visitors want to know what you can do for them. They want to know how you can help them solve their specific problem, or get them closer to their personal goals in life.
If your copy doesn’t tell them how your site, your content, and ultimately your course can help them do that…
There they go. Off to find another website that can help them solve their problem.
Take another look at the examples above.
Every piece of text tells you what they can do for you.
So, are you saying I can’t talk about myself at all? How will they get to know me?
I’m not saying that at all. You need to let your personality show in your website. And if you are uniquely qualified to speak in your particular niche, then you need to voice that.
But it has to be done with a purpose.
Which headline appeals to you the most? Which one would be most likely to get your attention?
I Have 10 Years Of Experience Coaching Successful Entrepreneurs!
I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs thrive. I’ve worked with multi-million dollar business owners, and I can help you reach your goals.
Are You An Entrepreneur Looking To Take Your Business To The Next Level?
If you’re sick of not reaching your income goals, you can ditch the frustration and thrive in your business. I can help you design a winning business strategy that will deliver the results you want.
Option 2 is the clear winner.
Why is that?
It’s not a list of qualifications. It addresses a specific pain point (income goals). And explains how you can help solve the problem (design a winning business strategy).
If you are uniquely qualified to solve your target audience’s problems then, by all means, include that on your page. But it has to serve a purpose: to explain why and how you can help them solve their specific problems.
You can get a little more personal on your “About Me” page. (And you should.)
Solutions, value, and connection. That’s what people are looking for when they come to your website.
For those of you who are worried about “overselling” what you can do for your audience:
I’m not telling you to exaggerate. But if you know what you are talking about, be confident in yourself and what you can do for your audience.
I know if you’re more introverted, it will be a challenge to deal with your self-doubt. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Be passionate about your niche, and don’t water anything down when unconfidence and fear trickle into your thoughts.
Try not to spend more than an hour on your homepage copy. It’s too easy to get hung up trying to make it perfect.
Remember. You can always change and tweak as you go. Nothing is set in stone.
Create A Valuable Blog
Blogs are one of the best ways to grow your business.
I’m not talking about turning your website into a public journal of your random thoughts. Your blog is a marketing tool that speaks directly to your target audience.
If you aren’t a writer, I understand how intimidating a blog can be. But once you get the hang of it, there’s really nothing to be scared of. (You can even outsource this part of your business to someone else if you want.)
Reasons why your website needs a blog:
- Drives traffic to your website
- Boosts your website’s rankings in Google
- Get’s you noticed on social media
- Converts traffic into leads
- Establishes you as an authority
- And once you hit publish, your blog content will keep doing this for your business indefinitely
So how do you create a valuable blog?
Create valuable content.
Every blog post you create needs to be rich with actionable insights and value for your target audience. You aren’t writing post after post just for the sake of it. Every piece of content on your website needs to serve your audience in some way.
(Lucky for you we have an in-depth guide on exactly how to create valuable content. Make sure to check it out before you start your first post. It covers the specifics of putting together your content.)
Today I’ll be going over a basic blogging strategy. Knowing these tricks and tips will set you up for success in your business.
Using Keywords For Targeted Blog Topics
Keywords don’t have to be intimidating or confusing.
But when you figure out how to use them, you will direct valuable and relevant traffic to your website for the rest of your life.
Keywords- The Basics:
- 4-word phrase minimum.
These are known as long tail keywords. The longer the keyword phrase you target, the better your chances are of ranking well for that keyword.
- Don’t stuff your keywords
This is a huge red flag to Google’s algorithms. And readers will know when you're throwing irrelevant keywords into your content for the sake of it. Keep your writing natural, but use keywords as a tool to support relevant content. (In case you’re curious, stuffing means you try to fit the word in as many times as possible...it’s an old-school hack that will hurt WAY MORE than help today...those search engines are smart :-)
- Have the right motives.
SEO is important, but the heart of all of your content should be helping your audience with your knowledge, solving their problems, and providing value in your niche. Keywords help your content get noticed by the people that need it.
Never forget your niche and your target audience.
So how do you find good keywords?
Everyone uses Google keyword planner (including your competition), but I’m going to show you a little-known trick to find some great keyword phrases effortlessly. All of this is done with normal, Google search.
- Type in a basic keyword related to your niche. (For this example I’ll expand on the typing niche above.)
- After you hit search go all the way to the bottom, to the related searches.
The related searches are a priceless and effortless source of long tail keywords!
You can keep plugging searches in from this area to refine your target keywords even more.
Already you can see a limitless supply of blog post ideas with long tail keywords.
Another great tool is Ubersuggest.
You know how Google tries to jump in with a suggestion as you’re typing?
Ubersuggest can take a basic, barebones keyword and do all this for you in one place.
Let’s say you’re hip-hop dance instructor and you want to launch a dance fitness course on Kajabi.
This will help you find relevant blog post ideas for your website to send you targeted traffic.
Now that you know how to find long-tail keywords. How do you use them?
When you use keywords in your content, the phrases should be seamless and natural.
Use them too little, and Google has a rough time figuring out what your content is about.
Use them too much, and you tell almighty Google you are a keyword stuffing spammer.
What’s the happy medium here?
There isn’t a clear-cut answer to this question. And it varies depending on your niche, target audience, and post topic.
Keeping that in mind…
A good rule of thumb is to place your keywords (and variations of it) in your content 5-6 times.
- In the title
- The headline
- The meta description
- Sprinkled in your content 2 or 3 times
This isn’t a hard rule.
The most important part is that your keywords flow seamlessly and naturally with your content. If it feels awkward to place your keywords in a certain spot, then your readers will know something’s fishy.
How Often Should You Publish A Blog Post?
The more often you post to your blog, the more traffic you get.
If you can follow this process, and write high-quality, valuable blog posts 5 days a week at the same time. Go for it!
But you are building a complete business to sell courses. Your aim is to be well-rounded in all of your traffic generation and list building efforts without overloading yourself.
Make it your goal to publish 2 blog posts each week. (That’s the same strategy we use at Kajabi, and it has worked well for us.)
If 2 posts a week seems overwhelming then here are a few tips to make it easier.
- Jot down post ideas/titles as they come to you
This will serve as a rough idea bank that will get you ahead of the game when it’s time to start writing. While you are researching keywords, note any long tail keywords that would make great blog posts in your niche.
- Build a bank of extra articles
If you are caught up with all of your tasks in your schedule, carve out a little time to write a post. When if you already published 2 posts on your blog for the week. You can build up a stash of extra articles that are ready and waiting to go in the future.
- Use Grammarly
This is the best tool out there to make sure your writing is mistake proof. Even if you aren’t a writer, Grammarly will help you produce flawless content.
- Write hands free
The hardest part of writing is getting your first draft on the page.
This is a super effective trick to get your words down faster than you could ever type them. If you have a Mac use “start dictation” from the Edit menu and it will type out what you speak.
You can even use speech to text and the Google Docs app on your phone to speak your words. Then when you need to go in with your computer to revise and polish, it’s automatically synced to your Docs to copy and paste in your blog.
But keep in mind, this will not give you a polished final draft.
You will need to clean it up quite a bit and add spacing and punctuation before you can publish, but the hardest part will be done in no time!
Build Your List Effortlessly
Before we dive in, I want to clear up a big myth when it comes to list building.
You need a huge list to have a successful launch.
Zach Spuckler is an expert in this. Launching is his specialty, and he’s a big advocate for starting small.
We sat down with him not too long ago, and in his exclusive Kajabi interview he says that all you need to have a successful launch is a couple hundred people in your email list.
Even if you are starting from zero, 200 people isn’t a hard task to achieve. And when you follow the process outlined up there, you know your list will be targeted and relevant to your course.
So how do you build your list?
We have an in-depth guide on some specific types of lead magnets and how to use them. So check it out here as part of your homework.
Here’s the basic rundown...
Implement Lead Magnets On Every Page of Your Website
I’m not talking about spamming your visitors with subscribe forms all over your website.
But it is important that you have at least one relevant lead magnet on every page of your website.
Here is an excellent example of a lead magnet on our Kajabi Hero, Kyle Buchanan’s website. (Memorize Academy. Niche: Improving Memory, Target Audience: Students who want to develop their memorization skills to crush their exams.)
This is right there on his homepage.
If you are a student struggling with your study habits this lead magnet is irresistible.
Your lead magnets can even be as simple as telling your visitors what you can offer them when they subscribe.
(Kajabi Hero, Brad Nelson. Balanced Cents Niche: Personal finance/budgeting/money management. Target audience: People who want to get a handle on their money and reach financial freedom.)
Where to place your lead magnets.
- At the very top of your page.
- In your sidebar
- At the bottom of your page
- In the middle your content
- After your call-to-action in your posts
There are several options, but don’t use all of them on the same page. It looks spammy and will drive traffic away from your website.
Every page on your site needs an easy, attractive way for visitors to give you their email. If they have to go hunting for a way to subscribe, more times than not, you’ll never get their email.
Social Media For Course Creation: Using Facebook To Build Your Following
There are so many social media platforms you can use to grow your business. So why put the focus on Facebook?
Advantages of Facebook over other platforms:
Live video capabilities
Community is the focus of Facebook
Powerful ad creation tools
Everything you need built in
Easy to learn and use
You don’t need to be active on every single social media platform to have a successful course launch.
If you don’t already have one, make sure to set up a Facebook page strictly for your business. (Don’t forget your niche and target audience.)
Your Facebook page needs to be optimized for your ideal audience just like you did with your website.
Your niche, and what you have to offer needs to be clear in everything from your cover photo to your about section.
Keeping a Consistent Posting Schedule
Just like your blog, you need a consistent schedule on your Facebook page.
You don’t want to spam your followers’ news feeds. This is annoying and will get you unfollowed in a hurry.
Post too little, and you will not get the traffic and interaction you need to get noticed on Facebook.
So how often should you update your Facebook page with relevant posts?
The best guidelines are 5-10 time a week.
For this series make it a goal to post on your Facebook page at least once a day. More than twice a day will drive followers away.
Here are some stats to consider when planning your Facebook post schedule:
- Facebook peaks on Wednesdays at 3:00 pm, when Humpday is in full swing.
- After 8:00 pm is the worst time to post to Facebook
- Mondays have the lowest engagement stats
- 80% of the America’s population are in Eastern and Central timezones
- Wednesday-Sunday are the best days to post on Facebook
- Wednesday-Friday peak times: 1:00-4:00 pm
- Weekend peak times: 12:00-1:00 pm
This doesn’t mean you have to post only at these times.
As you go, you’ll find the best stats and times that fit your particular audience. (For example: If your niche is personal development for night-shift workers, you may need to tweak until you find the sweet spot.)
What can you share with your Facebook audience?
- When you publish a blog post (with a link to the post)
- Announcements in your business
- Encouraging text updates that encourage interaction (with links to your website)
Do not make every post on your business page about lead generation. You want to build a rapport and community on your Facebook page. If you keep pushing your followers to click a link to your blog in every single post you will lose the trust of potential customers.
How To Use Facebook Live To Build Your Following
Videos are a powerful marketing force. And they are one of the easiest ways to get noticed on Facebook.
Our Kajabi Hero, Bob Heilig used live videos as his main marketing strategy. His formula is simple to put to work for your business.
Check out the link above for the full picture of how he used live video to market his course (and our tutorial here.) But I’ll give you a basic snapshot below.
An Effective Facebook Live Video Formula
- Curate information
When it comes to topic selection, you don’t have to come up with revolutionary, original ideas. (But if you can, then by all means, go for it!)
Your videos can simply be you passing along some useful information you’ve stumbled across. Just don’t forget to give credit to your source.
- Create videos at least 2-3 times a week.
Bob did a live video every weekday starting out, but if that’s too much, you can cut it back.
- Make your video 2-3 minutes long.
See, that’s not so bad. Bob’s videos were about 5 minutes each, and we don’t recommend you go much longer than that. Stick with quick videos, and you’re golden.
- Deliver valuable video content.
Your main goals for each video are to educate, empower, and entertain. No infomercials! So don’t constantly push your viewers to subscribe or visit your website.
- Be yourself
Don’t worry about being perfect. Let your personality shine through and know that your videos (especially starting out) will not be flawless.
People can’t relate to perfect. The important part is just putting yourself out there and getting it done.
Wrapping It All Up And Moving Forward
I know we have covered so much in this post, but don’t let it overwhelm you.
The most important thing to remember is to not put too much pressure on yourself as you follow this process. (And keep up those thought replacement exercises when you start to doubt yourself.) :)
It’s a lot of work, and it takes time, but once you have the framework in place you will set your business up to have the best start possible. Plus once you cover the basics, the hardest part of your framework is finished.
There isn’t a strict set of rules you have to follow to a T to succeed. You can customize and tailor your specific framework to fit you and your schedule.
Done is better than perfect.
You can build on and tweak any one of these elements as you go.
Once you have the basics down take baby steps to reach your goals. Break it down as much as you need.
This isn’t about becoming an overnight success. It’s about building a successful business with the whole picture in mind.
You’ll make mistakes.
But you will grow, learn, and get back up. You are a CEO. You are building a business with staying power. You can do this!
Success isn’t an on-demand process, in any business, it’s a journey. And everyone’s journey is unique. And Kajabi is here to support you every step of the way.
Our next post in this course creation series, we’ll get in the trenches of actually building your course with Kajabi.
Here’s what we’ll cover in part 3:
- Selecting your course topic idea
- Outlining and planning your course
- A fast research method to flesh your idea out and fill in any knowledge gaps you might have.
- And finally building your first course!
You really do not want to miss it! This will be the most comprehensive guide on creating your first online course. (In plain English that anyone can understand.)
And guess what?
Our Kajabi Family will be the very first to know when part 3 goes live on the blog!
Enter your name and email below to get first dibs on the next post in the series. You’ll have direct access to all the information you need to build your first successful course with Kajabi.
Let me know in the comments what part of this guide was most helpful to you. Then share with your friends and tell the world, “I am building the framework I need to be the next #KajabiHero!”
I’m looking forward to taking this journey with you.
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