Over the last 3 to 5 years there’s been a lot of changes in online education. A course creator can no longer even think of charging a premium price for simple bunch of YouTube videos disguised as an online course. Those days are long gone.
Today online course participants expect a whole lot more. They demand more:
1 on 1 Coaching
Excellently formatted, engaging, value add, PDF reference material
Relevant, supportive case-studies they can benefit from
Each course participant expects a ton of value for what they are paying.
What sells today is a high value online course. Such a course is a combination of:
Engaging, value packed, Video (HD) based tutorials
Weekly coaching calls with Q&A sessions
Communities exclusive to course participants
And more . . .
This by no means indicates that there is a decline in the online course industry. Today, more than ever people are looking to learn from online experts. Experts who offer a ton more than a few self-study videos throw together on a YouTube channel.
This requires today’s course creator’s to be a lot more than a domain expert. Today’s course creator needs to be intimate with:
High quality microphones
High quality video cameras
The use of Video editing software
Video hosting platforms that protect their IPR
Course hosting platforms
And more . . .
Course creators who understand how to:
Create the highest quality of video and audio content
Use the best video hosting services
Use the best course delivery platforms
And so on, are the ones that are delivering high value, online courses which sell successfully.
In this Blog post, I’m covering all that today’s course creator needs to know to deliver a high value online course that will sell successfully.
#1: The Webcam Most Course Creators Use
The Logitech C920 Pro
Course creators need a webcam that delivers HD quality output.
They need it to Record interviews with influencers. Often this is offered as the Bonus content.
Create their own HD training videos.
The Logitech C920 is perfect for this. 95% of course creators use this webcam to create terrific training videos.
NOTE: Most laptops have webcams built in, BUT their video quality is often too low to deliver HD video output.
The Logitech C920 PRO 1080p webcam is a USB webcam that works on all computers. It really can deliver great pictures, even in low lighting.
#2: The Microphone Most Course Creators Use
The Blue Yeti Mic.
You must deliver top-notch audio to support the HD quality video you produce using the Logitech C920.
Your course participants will be very unhappy if they cannot hear and understand what you are saying. Poor audio quality delivered by a not so great microphone will kill your carefully crafted training videos.
Your course sales will tank quickly if your videos have poor audio quality.
The microphone that is used by a huge number of course creators, is the Blue Yeti microphone.
Check out the price of the Blue Yeti microphone on its website. Read its specifications. Read the accessories that go with it. Then check out the Blue Yeti microphone on Amazon or your favorite eCommerce website to purchase at the best price possible.
#3: Video Recording Software
Deliver value-packed live interviews with influencers in your niche. This is a tried and tested (and terrific) way to keep your course participants engaged. All your course participants will want to learn from the movers and shakers in your niche. Especially if they offer crucial How To’s during the interview.
You will need a way to:
Capture and create a video of the person you are interviewing live
Record the interview
If needed creatively edit the recorded interview
Then you can offer this interview as part of your course content
Here are two commonly used software for doing such interviews.
Skype For Interviews
Skype is free for 1 on 1 interviews. Recording your video based interview with Skype requires the use of 3rd party software.
There are several recorders for Skype. I’ve used most of them. By far the best Skype recorder I’ve used is Amolto recorder for Skype. I recommend Amolto Recorder for Skype.
Zoom For Interviews
Zoom on the other hand is free for up to 10 participants. Zoom has recording to the cloud or to your local hard disk built in. Its recorded video and audio quality is excellent BUT is dependent on the quality of your webcam and microphone.
I recommend Zoom. It’s an Internet-based meeting and webinar program. You can also use Zoom to record your lecture-style course videos with your webcam.
I’ve been using Zoom for a long time now and I’m perfectly happy with its ease of use and video / audio quality Zoom delivers.
#4: Computer Screen Capture Software
All course creators need software that will empower them to capture what’s on their computer screens and create a video out of that content. The very best Windows-based tool for this is Camtasia.
Such videos, often form the backbone of training modules in a high-value online course. There are a large number of free and premium screen capture software available. Just Google for Screen Capture software to identify them.
NOTE: If you’ve purchased Camtasia then you already have excellent screen capture available. Camtasia not only delivers awesome video editing capabilities, it also has superb screen capture capabilities.
If you do not have Camtasia then I recommend that you look at SnagIt closely. SnagIt is premium screen capture software created by the same people that brought you Camtasia. SnagIt is available for both Windows and Mac.
A terrific screen capture software commonly used by Mac users is Screenflow.
#5: Video Editing Software
Once you’ve got your video interview or training video ready, you’ll want to:;
Add Lead in / Exit music
Add Callouts to emphasize a point (or three)
Edit out the Hums, Ahs, Likes, and other useless vocal interjections.
Maybe your pet dog barks and that needs to be axed. No point is shooting the video again is there?
Removal of a couple of video frames
Removal / Adding / Editing the audio track
So on and so forth.
For that, you have to have so sort of video editing software. There is a lot of such software available if you Google for Video Editing Software. The choice can be bewildering for the non-techie.
I’m going to recommend Camtasia for both Windows, and the Mac. At $300/- approximately it’s pricy, fortunately it’s excellent. It has a learning curve BUT once that’s done, you can do magic with Camtasia.
Camtasia has a boat load of terrific training videos. It has very helpful support staff that always answer all your queries.
It’s by far the most popular and user-friendly software out there. It’s used in every online course creation community I’m familiar with. I strongly recommend Camtasia. I’ve been using it for years.
Need a terrific video editor but a ton easier on the pocket?
A much less expensive video editor for Windows and Mac, is the Movavi Video editor.
NOTE: The video editing software I’ve recommended are available for both Windows and Mac.
NOTE: You can always find a ton of free (and premium) Video Editors to work with. Just Google for them. I’m sure you’ll find a video editor that fits your needs perfectly.
#6: Creating Course Promotional Content
All course creators must market their courses to get course participants to sign on. If your ideal course participant simply does not know that your course exists you’ll be losing money every day.
Most course creators use social media marketing / advertising to reach out to their ideal audience. To draw then to their websites landing / sales page.
Hence course creators need to know how to use graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop. It’s using such software that they can create awesome, engaging social media adverts. Photoshop will empower a course creator to craft web page images, promotional images for social media adverts and tons more.
Adobe Photoshop is premium software.
NOTE: There are several free graphics creation programs available. Google for them.
Once such program is Canva.
Canva is an easy, no-prior-knowledge-needed, online tool, which empowers course creators to create terrific-looking graphic designs.
Another widely used free graphics editor is GIMP.
GIMP is an open source graphics editor that is really powerful. It has a small learning curve, but GIMP does empower course creators to create terrific looking graphics. Best of all its totally free.
#7: Hosting Your Training Videos. Protecting Your IPR
Today’s course creators do not host their training videos on YouTube. I know that hosting your training videos on YouTube is free BUT anyone can download your videos from YouTube anytime. YouTube offers you no intellectual property rights protection.
There are dedicated video hosting sites like Vimeo, Wistia, and others which take IPR a lot more seriously. As course content creator you have complete control over who watches your videos. You can restrict downloading your videos completely. They would be watchable BUT not downloadable.
You can ensure that your training videos will play only on your own website (or websites you specifically permitted to play your training videos). Such a level of IPR control comes at a very modest price. This is well worth the money you’ve invested in such specialized video hosting.
As course creator, you will host your videos on such sites and permit your training videos to play only on pages generated by your website. Perfect for IPR control.
#8: Hosting Your High Value Online Training Course
#7 above assumes that as course creator you have your own website. That you are selling your high-value online course via your website (or perhaps a few carefully chosen affiliate websites).
Course creators can also opt to host their courses with specialized web-based platforms. These platforms are dedicated to hosting courses from various course creators.
There are numerous such platforms available, all you have to do is Google for them. That said. I would steer clear of marketplaces like Udemy.com which force you to price your course very low.
My advice is to opt for a platform that gives you the ability to host your high-value online course at your own custom domain.
Today all dedicated platform that host courses also include video hosting (i.e. your course videos are directly uploaded to their site), and work hard to protect your IPR.
Teachable A Dedicated Platform For Course Creators
Thinkific A Dedicated Platform For Course Creators
#9: An Email Autoresponder
When you prepare to launch your high-value online course, you’ll need to gather Email Ids from interested site visitors. These are Email Ids you’ll put on a mailing list.
Using your email list, you’ll dispatch value-packed newsletters to all those who subscribed. Your emailed newsletter content will have your course promotion content as well which would entice your newsletter subscriber into becoming a paying customer.
MailChimp 3rd Party Email Software
AWeber 3rd Party Email Software
Constant Contact 3rd Party Email Software
NOTE: All the above 3rd party email service and autoresponder providers are premium. That said, all have some sort of free (but restricted) email and autoresponder services that you can check out.
Google for free 3rd party email marketing services. You’ll identify a ton of them. Try out a few. I’m sure you will find one that fits your needs perfectly.
All 3rd party email service providers offer, free for use, great looking, and responsive Email templates. All you have to do is choose any such template, add the content you desire. Finally, you have to link that to your email list and set a date and time.
Your 3rd party Email service provider will send out a suitably personalized email to every email id in your mailing list. Such software keeps track of how many people opened your Email list. How many recipients clicked a link your Email contained and a lot of other valuable email statistics.
These are the 9 tools which you as course creator need to be comfortable with. They help you create and launch your high-value online course successfully.
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