Turning Your Service into an Online Course

If you’re a service provider, I could bet that time is one of your most precious assets. The nature of providing services means that you are always trading at least some amount of time for money.

After a certain point, this means that it can be a challenge to figure out how to continue to grow your business.

Going from Service to Course

Online courses are often billed as the best way to scale since they allow you to create passive income-- meaning an income stream that doesn’t require more of your time for each unit you sell.

There are, of course, other options. Service-based business owners can also bring on associates, outsource work, or raise their prices.

All of these options can be viable choices for growing your business.

Today, we’re going to focus on course creation, and how you can use what you’ve learned as a service provider to create an online course.

Here are some steps service providers can take to start developing an online course:

Step 1: Know Your Audience

Figuring out who it is you’re speaking to is the first thing you’ll need to figure out when you start working on your course.

A few key points here:

  1. The people who are likely to buy a course are going to be slightly different than the people who join group programs or buy one-on-one service packages.

  2. Courses should be highly targeted and be focused on specific needs and goals

Generally speaking, you are not going to include everything you know or everything you teach your clients in one online course. Therefore, even if you have an avatar (or avatars) for your business as a whole, I always recommend creating a really specific “ideal learner” for each of your courses/digital products.

If you’ve been working with clients for a while, you’ll likely be able to sort them into general categories based on their needs, and how they ended up working with you.

Try to think of the last 8-10 people you’ve worked with. Do you notice any patterns in the specific content they needed?

For example, a health coach who markets herself to women in their mid-twenties might find that she works with clients who are either:

  • Struggling with acne

  • Trying to get away from yo-yo dieting

While you might sometimes have individuals who are interested in both topics, most of the time, content that is focused on acne is not going to appeal to someone who’s primary struggle is with constant dieting.

With this in mind, for your online course, you’ll want to work to develop a specific avatar around the particular “type” that you choose for your online course.

Step 2: Define Their Goals

After you’ve figured out who you’re creating for, you’ll want to spend some time articulating their goals.

Courses should always create some level of transformation for your learners. When designing a course, it’s important to know what the before and after looks like for people who go through your materials.

Knowing this can help you identify your modules and figure out what content needs to be included in your course.

As a service provider, you have an awesome advantage here, because your clients provide you with real-world examples of the impact that your teaching can have.

Step 3: When are You Repeating Yourself?

Another tip for turning your service into a course is to consider where you’re repeating yourself.

Many service providers, especially those who work as a coach or mentor likely teach a certain set of basic principles to all their clients.

These essentials make a great foundation for an online course, and since you’ve taught them again and again, you likely have a good sense of what people need to know.

After you’ve identified an ideal learner, and thought about their goals and the content you’re likely to need for your course, the next step is to do some market research!  

Past clients can be a great source of feedback. If you’re not already doing this, be sure to solicit feedback and testimonials from people you’ve worked with-- doing this can give you a really clear sense of what your strengths are!

Past clients can sometimes also be great people to review your course outline or serve as beta testers.

Ready to take the next step? Check out these articles for more course creation basics!

Choosing a topic for your online course

Outlining online courses

Creating course materials the fast and easy way

Are you considering adding eCourses to your service based business? Let us know in this comments! 

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Meet Rachel

I’m an instructional designer providing eCourse solutions for creative entrepreneurs. My focus is on helping you learn how to talk to your audience and validate your programs to take the uncertainty out of launching.

Have questions about creating your online course? Click below to learn how we can work together!

Rachel ReclamComment