Membership Sites
It's What We Do for You!

Launching a Cheap, Low-Tech, Online Course Option Might Be a Good Start

This is not an article you should be expecting from me. My team and I make a living off building online course and membership sites. We do some good work for our customers. It's our bread and butter.

Still, I have to be honest.

Many business owners start online course building project overly focused on the technology. They get really caught up in that making that the priority. It makes them feel productive, but it's not where you want to be starting. Whether you build the course yourself, which is no small task, or hire someone, it's a big investment.  And that's not what's important when you start.

Like I said before, my team and I build online course and membership sites. We are intimately familiar with the available platforms and tools. I participate in a number of online discussion groups and see people asking all sorts of technology questions. They want to know which one is best for them. If they are planning for a Wordpress site, which is where we do much of our work, they ask all sorts of questions about the themes and plugins to use.

At some point, that will be important, but before anything else the focus needs to be on selling the course and getting your course content optimized. You can fiddle with the technology if you like, but time spent doing that keeps you from what's MOST important.

Here is what I recommend as your first online course platform to keep things simple, easy to configure and FREE.

  1. Set up a private Facebook Group and invite new customers to the group. Publish your course materials there. You can create a post with the content and pin it as a featured post. You can create a Guide using the Facebook Group feature for that. Your content be made up of written copy, downloadable PDF files, videos and much more.  Member can get easy access to their content and you keep unauthorized people from accessing it.
  2. A second option is to publish your content in Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive folders. Give members access to that and then use email to communicate with them.
  3. If you offer group coaching, communicate the times of your meetings and links to your Zoom conference line via the Facebook Group or email.  If you don't have a Zoom Pro version, use Google Meet. It works really well and gets you past Zoom's free account45 minute call limit.

That's it. Simple. No cost. Easy to set up.

You have to remember that people come to you because of the content you provide them. They don't require an expensive technology platform. What they want is a platform that gets them to your course content efficiently. They want to learn what they need to address their problem and it's your content, not the technology, that matters most.

As long as they get their desired outcome, they are satisfied. Your early focus on the technology can delays making your course available and generating sales. And every day you're delaying means your are keeping yourself from making sales. The opportunity cost of you messing with the technology is more than just the cost of the project. It's the missing out on the revenue you could be making.

Another benefit of this approach is it allows you to gather intelligence. While you focus on the perfecting your content working with your first customers, you get feedback from them. That can then be used to enhance your content. When you have the content they way you want it and have had a chance to make some money, you'll be in a better position to address the technology. You'll be in a better position to understand exactly what your members most need and now you can select your technology platform using real requirements. It will be based on facts you have observed versus gut feel which is where you were when you started.

I discuss all this in a lot of detail in the two mini-courses. The first is FREE. The other is very reasonably priced.

Let me know what you think.