How To Create An Online Course Outline That Sells Even If You’re a Beginner

By  Sam Peiffer

If you want to know my little known step-by-step blueprint to create, launch & sell a successful digital course.. Join for free at marketersociety.com!

In this episode you’re going to discover:

  • How to make sure your course outline is any good
  • Where you can get inspiration for your online course outline
  • How Many Modules You Need For A Online Course That Sells
  • What Should Each Module Be About?
  • What is the best Tool for creating an Online Course Outline?

I use Trello for planning the online course outline. And I use Clickfunnels to build the membership area because it’s easy and I already have an account where I host all my sales funnels and websites.

Read Full Transcript

All right, welcome to the show. Today I want to show you something that's really cool. It's how to create an online course outline that sells even if you are a beginner.

And if this is the first episode of this podcast I am hosting a free web class, or a workshop, where I show you my step by step blueprint on how to create, launch, and sell a successful online course.

It is completely free, and you can join the waiting list in the show notes. Just go on www.marketersociety.com and sign up for the list and you get notified when we launch.

In this episode you going to discover my personal strategy how to create an online course outline that sells even if you are a beginner.

The most important thing to make sure that your course is selling, is of course the outline of your online course. Because if your outline is boring, nobody wants to hear about your content then, it sucks and you won't make money.

There are a few steps you need to consider when you're writing your outline and I'm going to talk about some questions that the community asks and I'm sharing this with you.

The first thing to make sure is you get the mindset of your course outline right, so the question "how to create an online course outline that sells" is just the beginning. You need to make sure your mindset is on point.

To illustrate this, I need to tell you a story about Michelangelo. So Michelangelo was asked by a contractor, if he could create a statue of David and it was just a big giant piece of stone and it didn't look like David, from the Bible. What Michelangelo did, he just worked and worked and worked. After a few months or years, I don't know, he had this beautiful statue of David.

It looked amazing and the contractor came to him and said "Hey, how did you do that? It looked like a block of stone, I couldn't imagine it being this nice now." He asked him how he did it.

Michelangelo said "I had David in my head and everything that wasn't David I removed from it, until he became what I had envisioned in my head."

What it has to do with creating online course? It has everything to do with it. Your online course should be as short and on point, on topic and condensed as possible. Everything that you could remove from the course, remove it.

Another mindset you can implement is, if I give you $100 for each video, each module you can take away from the course, do it. Make it as short as possible and get through the results as fast as possible. That's the mindset of the whole thing. If you do it in this way, you get results very fast and you going to sell many units of this course.

The next question I got was "where can I get inspiration for my online course outline?" There are a few ways. You can look in books. In the Table of contents. Some people just model the For Dummies books. Like, Marketing for Dummies. Piano for Dummies.

The company that creates those "For Dummies" books, they spend huge amounts of money on market research and ask the people what they want in these books. Then they create those books and it's so nice to use those books for research.

Or you could go to Amazon, look at the Best Seller in your niche. Then you can open the Product listing of the book and look inside the book. You can preview some chapters and usually you can see the Table of contents and see what the writing is about.

I don't say steal or copy anything from the book, but get inspired by what people put in the outlines of the books because they did the research already. It's good to have this as a starting point.

Another thing you could do is go onto YouTube comments or forums or just Google something with a question. For example, if you wanted to make a course about fitness, just Google or type into the YouTube search "how to loose weight fast as a 40 year old man."

Just pick the top ten results and go into the comments, look for the question mark. That's usually what people are interested in and then you can create your course outline or your course content about that. There are so many ways to research that, these are just my favorite few.

If you have a little audience, lets say a hundred people, five hundred or a thousand people, you can easily send them an email and say "hey, what's your biggest question about ... weight loss" or whatever your course is about. Then you have an idea of what your niche wants from you and you can create your outline based on that.

The next question I got was "How many modules do you need for an online course that sells?" Basically this question is hard for me to answer because it depends on many factors.

Basically a course outline that sells is created by modules and lessons. You need to know the difference between them. The module is the overarching folder. In a module could be ten lessons. That's just the structure of it. The module could be Step 1, do this and this and this...

The lesson is teaching every step of the overarching strategy from the module. If your module 1 is, create a Facebook page, then you do all the steps you need for creating a Facebook page, and so on.

That's the structure of it. Then the modules itself, if you have module 1 - 5, the first module should be Step 1 to achieve the result that the people that are signing up for your course are getting.

If it's weight loss, first thing to do, join a gym membership and exercise five times a week, that is module 1. The first step for the result module 2 could be, choose your diet. That is a very easy part to understand and shouldn't take much time.

What I like to do here is, I do six modules. The first one is Mindset and organization, because people loose interest really fast or get buyers remorse if they buy something.

When you buy something and immediately you regret that you bought it because your ego kicks in and you get immediately down in status-

That's because you gave someone money and you don't know if it's going to work. That's completely normal and everybody has it sometime. We want to counter that because we give people mindset modules like, how people should think about it and how could people organize themselves to get the results as soon as possible. It's usually my module 1 or module 0 before I even teach my strategies.

Some people do it with just an introduction video. I do a whole module about that because it's the most important thing and we do use refund like crazy. In the launch I told you, with the eighty nine people, nobody refunded, because I had it like this.

After this Mindset in Organization module, I do five to six modules, teaching the course strategies to get them the results. Inside them, each lesson depends on how much people actually need. Like I said if you get $100 for each module or each lesson you can pull out from the course and still get the results then do it.

That's just how it should be so I can say "hey you need five modules and module one should be twelve lessons and module two should be ten." That's bullshit, it's just how much they need.

If you can do this in three modules, do it. If you do five or six modules it get people to do it in the way that they can consume in within five to six weeks. Most people give thirty day refund guarantees and it brings people the refund guarantee, that's something to consider when you are outlining your online course.

Last but not least, I do a specific module or a specific video that I include every time I make courses because I want people to get results. I even heard of people using my stuff.

What happened in my German coaching business where I teach people how to build e-commerce businesses. Somebody signed up for my coaching program and made so much money and he didn't tell me, I heard from a childhood friend that somebody is making so much money and he actually knew the guy and he didn't tell me.

It's crazy because I could've used it in my marketing message "hey this guy got crazy results, look at what he did. That's because of the coaching program." If I had done that, this video strategy to collect testimonials, I would've had a great testimonial, so since then I do it every time.

It’s just a short video. One, two or three minutes, where I ask people on how they like the course and if they could do a short testimony with a smartphone for me or post on a Facebook group or comment on the video, doesn't matter where it is, just an opinion on the course, the results they got. They should be honest.

I even tried something, giving people incentives if they do it in a video form because everybody was posting and we had comments and I wanted them to go on camera and show their face and tell their story. I said "if you do it, you'll get $20" and people did it.

You have to be honest about it though. You shouldn't give people money for a fake testimony. Tell them "if you got results and want" say you sell a book or something and you want "the money off your book back just shoot me a quick testimonial and tell me what your results were and I'll refund your shipping cost" This really works great and it's a stand alone module or on a promoted spot on your members area of the course and should be planned in your online course if you want to sell crazy amounts of online courses.

Usually if you sell an online course, the first spike of sales is when you just launch the course and after that it goes down but if you gather testimonials, it goes up again really fast because of all the referral traffic you get. Then you can use that.

What should each module be about? The overall strategy, aka the Introduction Video Modules. If you have five or six modules, the first thing in every module should be an introduction or a strategy video.

You go in there and you say „hey, in this module you going to discover this, this, this and that. I teach you the concept now for the whole strategy.“ Then in the lessons I go deep inside the specific tactics and the tricks you can use. Usually I do an introduction videos or welcome videos for each module on cam so I can build trust and a little brand building and they see me.

I show just what they have to do and in the lessons I show them how they can actually implement it. It’s value from both sides because you can’t execute if you don’t know what to do. The how doesn’t make sense to you. The last thing in each module or each lesson is, I give them a specific call to action every piece of content on the outline and I scripted every time in the outline.

By finishing the course or coaching program, they have everything they need to get a good working result. If you have listened to this this far, the last question is, „where do you create your course outline? What tools do you need to create this course outline?

If you are ready, how do you get it online to put your modules on your membership area?“ This goes hand in hand with each other. I use two tools. The first tool I use is Trello. It’s completely free and I make a brand new board for my online course and they have cards and card decks, you will know if when you use Trello.

I do a deck of cards for every module in the course and each lesson of each module becomes a card. If I have notes, I do an extra deck of cards and I do resources, notes, questions I get asked. I have a brain dump deck too, so when I have a new idea I just put it in there and afterwards I sort all the cards and the different modules and rearrange everything so it makes more sense, if anything changes.

After I have the first draft that I’m proud of, that I think is good, then I go to my Clickfunnels account which is a Fun Builder software, which is just a fancy word for website. The good thing about it is, there are so many membership builders and platforms for WordPress, software solutions like Teachable or Thinkific.

These softwares usually cost very much because you can do just one thing like creating a membership area and that’s it. I use my Clickfunnels account because membership software is free inside it because I use it for my funnels and websites.

Then I go to my Clickfunnels account and I just take the headlines off the cards in Trello, put it in order, click funnels and rearrange it a bit and build it in thirty, forty minutes, have the outline there.

Then I create the actual content of those and just plug is straight into Clickfunnels and my notes and everything goes into Trello, in the card description I can put … this and this and that and that video and that’s it.

That’s my whole process for creating an online course outline that sells even if you’re a beginner.

Like I said in the beginning if this process is a little overwhelming for you and you need a little bit more in depth and clarification, I’m doing a free workshop where I show you step by step my blueprint to create, launch and sell a successful digital course and it’s completely free.

Right now we are in the preparing phase so you can get on the waiting list and I will notify you when we launch this fee workshop.

That’s it. If you haven’t already subscribed to the iTunes podcast or subscribe wherever you are hearing and leave a good review if you find this added value to your life. That’s it for today. Have a great day.

About the author

I'm the author of the Ecom Black Book. My passion is to help you make money by building a successful online business. In my free time, I share my valuable insights on my podcast and on YouTube.

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