This is the ultimate guide for infopreneurs wanting to create an expert business online with a ton of tips, tricks, tools and so much more!
There are 1000s of ways to make money online.
There are lots of active ways to make money online (trading your time for money, but being location independent) and there are lots of ways to make passive income online (where you are location independent and not trading your time for money).
While I recommend people start with active ways, such as learning a skill and freelancing, the ultimate goal is to transition to passive income – which is having a real business.
Passive income – that’s the dream, right?
In today’s blog, I am going to discuss one of the best ways to do exactly that.
This type of business is known as “infopreneurship” or “expert business” or “selling info-products” or “selling digital courses” or “eLearning industry”. These are all correct descriptive names for this type of business.
In this blog, we will cover just some of these things:
- The eLearning industry, examples, and statistics
- 5 reasons to have an expert business online
- My experience with creating online courses, including where to host
- 20+ niches and sub-niches ideas (not related to business, entrepreneurship or digital marketing)
- My #1 Golden Rule for creating an online course
- The only exception to this Golden Rule
- A course on how to create a course
- 10 secrets to making 7-figures selling online courses
- 15 ways to make your course more valuable
Here are some statistics and examples to illustrate the power of this industry:
eLearning industry, a MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR, and growing industry:
An article from Forbes said the following: “E-Learning is the future. Market research firm Global Industry Analysts projected “E-Learning” would reach $107 Billion in 2015 and it did. Now, Research and Markets forecasts show triple the revenue of 2015 – e-learning will grow to $325 Billion by 2025.“
In 2015, LinkedIn purchased lynda.com, an online learning company, for $US1.5 billion. Yes, BILLION.
Founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and her husband Bruce Heavin, Lynda.com lets users learn business, technology, software, and creative skills. Individuals can access Lynda on their own, but corporations and schools can purchase subscriptions too.
This is now known as “LinkedIn Learning”.
Udemy, the world’s largest online learning platform:
Udemy.com is the world’s largest online learning platform. It is aimed at professional adults and students.
Udemy has more than 30 million students and 50,000 instructors teaching courses in over 60 languages.
There have been over 245 million course enrollments.
Students and instructors come from 190+ countries and 2/3 of students are located outside of the U.S. Udemy also has over 4,000 enterprise customers and 80% of Fortune 100 companies use Udemy for employee upskilling (Udemy for Business).
Students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills.
Fiverr, online marketplace for freelance services, pivoting to an eLearning:
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services. Founded in 2010, the company is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and provides a platform for freelancers to offer services to customers worldwide.
This company has raised over $110 million dollars in venture capital before going public in June 2019.
Even Fiverr, has pivoted to capture a slice of the multi-billion dollar eLearning piece by launching their own digital training courses to help freelancers acquire new skills or improve their existing skills.
Google, Digital Garage:
Google launched their own eLearning platform called “Digital Garage” . It has courses on Digital Marketing, Software Development, and Career Development, to name a few major categories.
Other examples of eLearning company startups and well-known entrepreneurs:
Net Divvy, established by Vince Reid, boasts online courses on digital marketing.
Clickfunnels, headed by their CEO and Co-Founder Russell Brunson, has launched for their 5-year anniversary “ClickFunnels Platinum” which gives full access to a bunch of vetted business and entrepreneurship-related courses from the likes of Tony Robbins, and other entrepreneurs that Russell Brunson learned from.
Cardone University, Sales Training University by Grant Cardone has over 1500 Segments of fully interactive video content.
Choosing your online course topic and area of expertise:
You might think that all the above are just in the areas of business, entrepreneurship, digital marketing.
But actually, there are literally endless possibilities for creating online courses that can solve a variety of problems.
Just to open your eyes, I wanted to share a list of potential niches and sub-niches that you can create an expert business online course.
Download it, but come back to continue reading this blog!
Why should you join the eLearning industry, why have an expert business?
There are many reasons why you should get involved and what makes this industry so attractive. Here are some facts:
- The cost to start a business is minimal, a few hundred or a few thousand in the worst-case scenario.
- Proven market and demand. The eLearning industry is proven to have a strong demand. You don’t need to build the next lynda.com to make a great living from this.
- An online course can be created once and sold over and over without having to depend on your time.
- The overheads for hosting an online course are minimal, under $100 per month. Just 1 sale and you can be profitable.
- Highly scalable. There is no limit to how many students can buy your course, i.e. no ceiling on the income.
My experience with creating online courses and hosting them:
Since the middle of 2018, I have been eagerly searching for the perfect online platform to host my courses.
I started with a WordPress plugin called LearnPress and create my first course called “How the online world really works”.
I offered it as a free course and have over 40 people sign up for it. About 15% actually finished it and gave me a positive review of the course. Each person that finished the course priced it at $50 value (I had a feedback form in the end).
This took me 3 weeks to put together.
The biggest problem I had with it is the sign-in process and the lost password process. It was difficult to sign up for the course, it was not intuitive, the lost password feature was painful to the point that some clients just got locked out and I couldn’t sort it. The whole course was free, and the hosting of it was free, so I guess you get what you pay for.
I went on to start researching better platforms and tried the following:
- Talent LMS
- And a few others…
After testing them all, I made my decision to go with PODIA.
If offers two simple payment plans:
As a user, I found this pricing simple. I found the features to be super simple and intuitive to use. I did a website job for a client and when the website was turned over I promised to give him a walkthrough of the whole platform and got his permission to use the recording of our call. This will give you a full overview of the entire platform.
Podia offers a 14-days free trial and I highly recommend you give it a go yourself. From the moment I pulled the trigger, the ease of use makes it exciting, efficient and effective to put together courses and digital downloads. I already had 10X more income as a result of having the platform than the entire annual cost.
There is a chance that Podia is “too simple”. I know some people prefer more features. If that was me, my second choice would have been to go with Teachable.
There are other great alternatives but you’re looking at much higher prices or much lower quality. If you have an interest in that (you don’t mind paying more or you’re so strapped financially you can’t even afford $39/month), you can comment below or email me with what you are trying to achieve and I’ll give you other alternatives.
My golden rule for creating an online course:
Before I tell you my #1 golden rule, I want to share with you a quick insight about when you should NOT use a course in your marketing. I do not recommend creating a free course as a lead magnet. A lead magnet is meant to attract your potential ideal customer and converting them to a paying customer as soon as possible. Giving them a free course means they’ll take time to get through it before they pay you anything which defeats the purpose of attracting the potential customer. With attracting customers, you want to give instant quick value (like a cheat sheet or an eBook) and use courses as a paid product.
Now let’s go to my #1 golden rule in creating an online course.
My number 1 rule for creating a course is that I pre-sell it. Only after I have a sale for a future course, will I seat down and create the course.
I have tried creating a course and selling it. And I tried signing people up for a course for free and then creating it. Both yielded poor results.
Once I got paid $1000 for creating a course upfront before I even created the course. A client wanted a course on a topic that I was familiar with, and wanted it for their whole team (it was a startup company).
I took the deal and requested permission to use this course for additional sales to individuals. There was nothing confidential about the course, and the client agreed.
Took me 48-72 hours to create the course from scratch. I have since been able to sell that course for $37 and have had some sales with very minimal effort.
This is the most trusted and secure way to prove the concept that your knowledge and expertise is in demand.
The only exception to my Golden Rule:
There is only one exception to this golden rule, and that is holding a virtual summit.
This is a trending business strategy in the world of entrepreneurship and shown in the growing rise of 4-6 weeks training Bootcamp of sorts – witness the One Funnel Away Challenge. Several other companies have started doing exactly the same strategy and you will continue to see more and more of that, I am sure.
One of the more successful entrepreneurs in the ClickFunnels community, Bailey Richert, captured this trend and created a fantastic digital product on this topic.
She goes over the whole blueprint of this “virtual summit” business model in detail in a webinar that you can sign up for.
As with any webinar, she will make an offer to buy the course. I have purchased a product from Bailey and have content that is top-notch quality and highly recommended.
As an extra bonus, if you do decide to buy Bailey’s course, I will personally be coaching you along throughout this course just like I do with my “unlimited email support” for my coaching clients ($30/month cost).
A course on how to create a course?
I have been asked to create a course on how to create a course by a number of followers.
While this is something on my “to-do-list”, it is not going to be done right away and so I wanted to provide an alternative for those who are serious about doing this.
If you want to learn how to professionally create such a course from A to Z, I would recommend you watch the following webinar.
I am dead serious about watching this webinar – this has honestly been one of the best, if not THE best webinars I have ever watched (from both an educational aspect and presentation perspective).
It goes for 1 hour, and well worth it. And aligns with teaching you a lot of what this eLearning industry is all about in addition to what I already covered. I specifically did not cover certain things in this blog, because this Webinar covers it so well.
Questions you will get answered:
- Do I need education credentials to build a course?
- Do I need a social media following?
- What is the startup cost and do I need a lot of money?
- Isn’t the online course market already over-saturated? Am I too late to the game?
- How do you know when you are qualified enough to teach a course?
- At what point do I know if I’m qualified enough to teach something?
Another secret you will learn from this webinar is how can you be part of a successful expert business WITHOUT being an expert at all?
When you are done watching the webinar, you’ll have an even better understanding of everything I discuss in this blog.
If you choose to sign up for this course that is offered at the end of the webinar, send me an email to get a 20% discount code first so you pay less.
Not only that, I will walk you through this course with guidance and unlimited email support throughout the course, as an extra bonus to everything you will get from buying this course.
Note: Send me an email to get a 20% discount code on the course. (Support@eranbucai.com)
How to make your course more valuable?
An online digital course is typically thought to be just a series of videos. This is a very narrow view. There are many things you should supply as part of your course that would increase the value. Examples:
Design a fill-in-the-blank worksheet that can help students complete an exercise.
Help students execute a task thoroughly by providing them a checklist they can use to verify their work.
Do you want a student to do something on their own, but you’d like to provide them some examples of how it’s done? Give them a template to follow.
Give them an ebook or text-based guide in addition to your videos which details all the information so they can read when they can’t watch.
You can also transcribe your videos using services like rev.com (use my link to get $10 off your first order to test it out).
#5: Related Video Content
Want to teach them a secondary skill that you feel would accomplish their goal easier, but it goes outside the core course content? Add the videos as a bonus.
#6: Interviews with You or Others
Interview other experts and influencers about their thoughts on the course topic. This can also work to increase your authority as you are seen to run in the same circles as these influencers, and if they back up what you are teaching in your course, it adds credibility to your program. You can also include exclusive interviews that others have conducted with you. For example, did someone interview you for their virtual summit which is now over? You could ask for that video to include as a bonus in your course.
#7: Audio Files
Extract the audio from your video recordings and turn them into downloadable mp3’s so your students can listen when they can’t watch.
#8: Discounts for Hardware / Software
Partner with companies to offer your students discounts on hardware and/or software they will need to complete the course.
#9: One-on-One Coaching
Offer a certain number of one-on-one coaching hours or calls to your enrollees so you can help each one overcome their individual obstacles to find success. While you shouldn’t use this coaching time as a chance to pitch your coaching services to your student, you can identify those that might be best suited to a coaching program with you and follow up to additional products and services you can. help them with.
A variation of this is also a. personal Review of a Student’s Work
A great way to provide structure to a one-on-one coaching session with one of your course enrollees is to suggest that they bring their completed work to the session so you can review it and offer feedback. This could even be listed explicitly as one of your bonuses and works well for courses where the students have a concrete, tangible product that you are teaching them to create (e.g. a course about website design where students create their own site).
This is definitely my most used bonus and extra for my course as I feel the world of internet marketing is saturated with information products that offer very little personalized support and guidance. So I use this not only to sell my own info products but when I affiliate other people’s info products that I endorse as an affiliate.
#10: Group Coaching
A group coaching bonus works particularly well for courses that launch periodically throughout the year. Hold weekly online meetings that are exclusively for students where you can address questions everyone might have or clarify concepts.
#11: Access to an Exclusive Group
Start an exclusive online community (e.g. Facebook group) which is only for enrollees of your course so students can connect and learn from one another. Paid Facebook Groups tends to have higher quality people you can connect with, more committed, and less spammy.
#12: Admission to an Exclusive Event
Hold a live in-person or virtual event which is only for your course enrollees. This could be a series of interviews with influencers, a workshop or a one-time group coaching session.
#13: Event Recordings
Have you hosted an event that is now over (e.g. a virtual summit)? You can offer access to these recordings as a bonus.
#14: Free Enrollment in Another Course
Do you have another online course that teaches concepts from which students in your new course might benefit? Give them free access to that course as a bonus. You could also consider partnering with another infopreneur to offer their course for free as a bonus in your course. The other infopreneur may be inclined to do this if an affiliate relationship is in place.
#15: Discounts to Yours or Others’ Courses
If you feel it is too much to give your other course away as a bonus completely free, offer a discount to that course as a bonus. Other infopreneurs with whom you would like to partner might be more willing to give you a coupon code for their course to share with your students as a bonus, even if an affiliate relationship is not in place, because they will earn revenue on sales of their course to your students.
Hint: I am one of them! Let’s partner on a deal!
Done for your services:
We covered a lot on this blog!
If you got value from it, please leave a comment and let me know. If you want to venture into this type of business, I offer 2 types of services to help you.
(a) Consulting approach
For this first option, consulting, this is a simple 1-time coaching call to understand exactly what you want to accomplish and lay out a step-by-step plan that you can go ahead and execute. This is a one-time fee for the call. I also offer on-going support by email and messenger, unlimited, for $1 per day (paid month to month, cancel anytime) for as long as you need to support and guidance.
(b) Done-for-you services
For this section option, it includes a consulting call to start with to write a plan with everything you want to be included in the course. Your role will be to record the videos, and the done-for-you service will include anything and everything else that goes with packaging these videos into a course.
- Creating templates
- Creating downloadable mp3s
- Creating cheatsheets and checklists
- Writing the sales letter
- Adding subtitles to the videos
- Editing the videos with intro, outro, and any other special editing
- Uploading the videos to the course platform, Podia, Teachable, or any other you choose. (this takes a lot longer than you think!)
And so much more! (everything outlined in the section ‘How to make your course more valuable?“)
This is a highly customizable package and is priced on a. case-by-case basis.
No matter which service you pick, the first step is to pay for the consult and fill out the pre-consultation questionnaire.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read through this blog!
If you want to learn more about this world of having an “Expert Business Online”, your #1 resource for that is a book called EXPERT SECRETS.
Please leave a comment below with your feedback and ask me any questions.
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About the author: Eran Bucai is an online entrepreneur who makes a full-time living working as a freelancer, marketer, business coach, and consultant. You can read more about his personal story here.