Websites, learning management systems, email marketing software, social media….. The list is endless!
When you are brand new to the world of online course creation and all of the ‘things’ that the marketers are telling you that ‘you must do or die’; it’s likely that your brain will short-circuit, you’ll question everything and then probably stare in the fridge for half an hour looking for the secrets of the universe (or chocolate).
Ok, back to course tech n’ stuff…..
Websites are something that us entrepreneurs always over-complicate (myself definitely included); and worst of all, often completely fail to do what they are supposed to do (I learned this the hard way).
Many course creators spend weeks of time, effort and money obsessing over a logo, the colours and how ‘profesh’ their beloved new websites will look; but completely fail to even consider the point of what their website is for and thus, waste everything.
In this quick blog, I wanted to share some tips on what you really SHOULD have on your website if you want it to do what it is supposed to do for you…. Like, make you money…..
Do I Need A Website First? What Order Should I Do All The Tech Stuff?
A lot of course creators ask me what tech they should work on first, what the best order is to set everything up in, and if they should hold off their product creation until they’ve got a website live.
No. Never hold up your product creation!
1. Product First
Create your product (course) FIRST – this is what is going to make you money and you don’t need fancy websites to make a lot of money.
Having a website is something that you most certainly should plan on getting together once you’ve got your course built and published. But PLEASE do not try to do everything at once.
2. Learning Management System Second
Once you’ve created your course, I suggest you go with setting up your learning management system [LMS] before anything else.
This is because they host your courses, provide the landing/sales pages from which to convince people to buy (and pay you), they collect student contact information, send automated student notifications and can be up and running in a matter of minutes.
In fact, here is a demo if me showing you how to publish an online course in just 22mins: https://youtu.be/1a4SHq4SkBE
Whenever I am looking at my never-ending to-do list I always ask myself “what is the thing that is going to make me money right now, or immediately after completing it?”, then I do that.
This is why creating your course and getting it up on a LMS should be your priority over all other tech and geeky temptations. As soon as you press publish you can start making money. In fact, you can even pre-sell your course whilst you are building it, making money right now.
3. Email List & Automations
Now that you have the first version of your online course out to the world via a LMS and are awaiting feedback to keep improving it as you go (or building other courses); start building your email list and automating the management of that group of students with email automations.
This is a whole topic on its own so I won’t go into it in this blog post, however, you can watch my latest Email Automation Workshop for FREE here: >> https://maintraining.activehosted.com/f/49
4. Finally, Create Your Website
By now you will be making money from your course (so will be able to afford to get your website done properly). It is tempting to try to get this done on the cheap by doing it yourself or getting somebody from Fivver to do it. Please don’t. I’ve made these mistakes myself and it cost me more, time, stress and money in the long run.
I strongly recommend that you get a grown-up to help you build your site. One who has been doing it for a long time and knows exactly what they are doing. This will give you time to get on with more product creation (money-making) and automating (scaling).
Secondly, I recommend that you demand (nicely of course) that your web person builds your site in a simple page builder in WordPress. There are lots of excellent page builders you can add to your WordPress site, I won’t go into all of those, but I personally use Beaver Builder and absolutely love it.
Having a simple page builder allows even the most tech-nervous people to quickly and easily do page edits yourself after it’s been built.
If your web person builds you a few super sexy template pages on your site for you, you only have to press ‘duplicate’ and add in your content with the simple drag and drop page builders and you’ll be pumping out pro-looking pages in no time – without having to play war negotiations with a web developer in some unpronounceable country who reckons you need to pay him $10 billion and a golden camel’s hoof to correct a spelling on your home page.
Aint nobody got time for that.
Take control. Go for that simple page builder tool. You will be mind-blown by how quickly you’ll pick it up and feel like a total web ninja.
You will feel completely empowered when you learn how to do your own little page edits, and you’ll never be a prisoner to web people who have coded your site in the second language of The Clangers, making it as user friendly as a cactus sandwich.
What Your Site Must Do For You
Every website is different and will need to have different features and functionalities depending on your business, industry, products and services – so this is a very standard list of ‘must-haves’ for the everyday course creator.
First, is understanding what the point of your website actually is in terms of what it must do for you; which is:
- To be found and searchable in all major search engines
- To get leads (email subscribers)
- To sell your products and services
- To enable communication and relationship building
Your website should have the following pages on as a minimum standard:
- Home / About Page (Don’t forget to show your human side!)
- Courses Page
- Products / Services Page
- Blog Page
- Contact Page
EVERY page should have the following:
- A ‘subscribe’ box
- A pop-up or lead magnet offering
- A sidebar menu that promotes your paid courses/products
Once you have these fundamentals in place, you will notice your email list growth increase, your learner enrolments increase AND your sales increase!
Which of these tasks do you need to get off the ground?
Also, if you need a good web person to get you set up and running, I can recommend you to some developers who I highly trust and use for my own site development – just leave a comment below and I’ll put you in touch.
I hope that this article has helped you!