We’re now in the age where we can learn pretty much anything we’ve learned at school and college from the internet - basically for free or pennies. The internet is the largest source of information ever collected, comprising from thousands of services holding all our data. It often gets me thinking about how much the world in the future will know about us. I believe our great, great, great, great (great, great!) grand-children will be able to see our Facebook newsfeed, our YouTube channels and check our Instagram's and Tweets. This generation is what I like to call the “Documentation Generation”. Because there is so much information readily available at our fingertips, more and more people are buying into online courses to teach themselves something that they’re hungry to learn. They don’t have to base their whole life around going to college or university when they can buy a professional online course and work at their own speed.
Online Education is worth a lot of money these days, and there are thousands of people teaching in these courses, many of them are the same but from different perspectives. I’ve taught Adobe Illustrator CC on my YouTube channel for over two years now, I can’t definitely say that the young people of this generation are learning more than ever - at a faster rate.
I’ve also made online courses for Adobe Illustrator and logo design. I get a lot of questions asked about why I make these courses. “Surely people will steal your ideas and business model?” - “If you’re not qualified to teach, can you actually teach people for a price”?
Making My Courses
I’ve recently released my newest and most up to date online course titled: “Adobe Illustrator For Beginners: Design A Typographic Logo”
I wanted to design an online course on Adobe Illustrator for those interested in basing their careers in the Graphic Design sector. I knew that in making a course it would take extensive planning and preparation as well as having branding client work to be working on. So I had to come up with a sort of system on how I should create a course so that I didn’t have to spend all my time during the working day making this course. I found out I either was a natural at creating content in what can seem a pressured environment or I did something different to what most course creators do.
The first thing I do when conceptualising a course is answer the generic, “Who? What? When? Where? Why?”
In answering these questions I’m able to determine who the course is for, what I’m going to do in the course, When I’m going to film and publish, Where am I going to publish the course when finished and why should I make this course in the first place. I use the questions for all the ideas I come up with. Whether it’s a YouTube video or a blog post like this one, I’ll ask and answer these questions to make sure I have clear vision of where I’m going with them.
Firstly, work out who your audience is and establish who you’re making this content for. All too often I see courses that don’t have great reviews and few students because the course isn’t really for a select group of people. I think this is because people are too afraid to be specific online. The logic creators have when they make a course is this:
“If I make a course that is too specific, few people will sign up because it’s not marketed to as many people.”
Although it seems to make sense to get as many people as possible to see your course, but it doesn’t actually work. What does work is being specific. Being specific means you have to be… well, substantially specific.
When I asked myself who would I want to make a course for, I decided I wanted beginners to intermediate designers to buy my course. So straight away I targeted my course towards beginner students. Then I asked myself the question of what do I want to teach the beginners? Logo Design! And again specifically a typographic logo design.
You may have seen the course title and not thought that it was too simple, but now when you look at it you see a different story. It’s actually so specific! The title tells you exactly who should take the course and exactly what you’ll be able to make after you’ve taken the course.
Normally, you would know generally what you’re going to teach in your course because that’s why you’re teaching a course. So the real question is, what are you going to teach about what you’re going to teach? Sound confusing?
Lots of content creators fall into the trap of making just one large course and charging a high price for it. Thinking more people will enjoy the course that way. But in doing this, you’re never going to see the return you want. Instead, write down exactly what you’re going to teach in this course, and from there you’ll be able to make more.
What I’m not saying is to go and make more courses about the exact same subject, I’m saying that you should have different levels to follow on. A good rule to stick by when thinking about making courses is to not make one large one, but make more medium/small sized courses. This way people won’t feel intimidated about taking the course because of the amount of lectures and the amount of money. So sit down and work out what you’re going to teach - get a basis in mind and work from there.
Now you should know a rough plan of what course/courses you’re going to be teaching, it’s time to roughly plan out when you’re going to make the course. One of the biggest downfalls in content creation is lack of preparation and organisation. If you don’t manage your time to make time to make this course, it will end up never getting finished. At worst you’ll feel stressed and pressured to get this course out onto the internet - then your content won’t be half as good as you could’ve made it.
Sit down and make a schedule, work out how long it will take to make your course and work from there. Make sure that when you’re making the course that you don’t feel stressed or pressured - even if you don’t feel like it, the students can definitely pick up on the stressed vibes within the course, this can stunt their viewership.
When you’re planing the time to make the course make sure you plan where you’re going to film the course. Location can sometimes make or break your course depending on what subject you’re teaching on. When you plan when and where you’re course is going to be filmed and edited, you’ll enjoy the process a lot more and the students will definitely notice that you’re calm and collected whilst teaching.
Why are you making this course? I debated putting the “Why?” at the end of this list because this is probably the most important question to ask yourself. I sometimes preach and teach in my Church’s Youth Ministry, when I was younger and was asked to preach I remember my Youth Pastor telling me this piece of gold advice:
“Start planning where you want to finish, the rest will follow.”
When you work out the “Why” behind creating the course, you working out what the student is going to be able to do when they finish the course. That way you don’t go off on a tangent and speak about something completely different. The end goal is in sight and you know what to do, say and teach to get there.
I hope you’ve gotten something out of this long blog post. I wanted to make sure I covered as much as possible without “taking the mick”.
If you would like to check out any of my courses you can do! Click down below to get 50% off my 5 star Adobe Illustrator Design A Typographic Logo Course. This course will blow your mind!
new hand lettering course
I've got a new Hand Lettering Course coming out in early April 2016. To get 50% off the course sign up for the early bird release to get updates on how the course is going. Don't miss out!