How To Create an Online Course

Con­sid­er­ing cre­at­ing an online course? I can show you how, based on what I learned cre­at­ing my own over the years, and with world­wide brands like LinkedIn Learning. 

How to create an online course

The Dig­i­tal Age demands we keep up with ever-chang­ing pro­grams and apps. To keep cur­rent is to stay viable in busi­ness. Many of us want to share our exper­tise and ideas with oth­ers, and cre­at­ing online course has been a very viable plat­form in the last few years. Here’s five steps to get to get you started!

How to Create and Online Course

1. Begin With Course Ideas

Lis­ten for what your clients and fol­low­ers ask you. That’s a sure sign you’ve got an oppor­tu­ni­ty to teach some­thing that will fit the needs of your audi­ence — and that it will be watched. List what you can teach, brain­storm­ing both broad and niche topics. 

Nicte Cuevas strategizing for her online course with LinkedIn Learning

2. Pick the Best Ideas and Set Goals

Not all ideas will work, so be sure to select one that will be of real val­ue to your audi­ence. For exam­ple, we’re shar­ing this blog in answer to our own fol­low­ing ask­ing for insight into this area.

With your top idea cho­sen, hone in on your inten­tions. Define the end-goal for your view­ers in terms of take away as well as the fee­ing you want them to be left with after tak­ing your course. A goal can be some­thing like: Help peo­ple use Adobe Express (for­mer­ly Adobe Spark) with con­fi­dence so they can cre­ate social media con­tent on the go. Or, empow­er Graph­ic Design­ers and Illus­tra­tors to embrace their cre­ative edge and pro­mote their work with confidence. 

3. Plan Your Course Content 

A course needs a lot of struc­ture and plan­ning to be sim­ple! Because we’re bom­bard­ed with infor­ma­tion over­load each day, it’s crit­i­cal to keep each les­son — whether solo or part of a series — short and to the point. Focus on one teach­able top­ic per video. This allows you to make your con­tent easy to grasp. 2–5 min­utes are an ide­al time to keep users engaged.

A best prac­tice we employ is to have a ded­i­cat­ed note­book or Google doc with the specifics of every chap­ter, includ­ing our scripts. Plus, a list of any graph­ics or video con­tent we aim to cre­ate, and the goals for each, so we can be sure they align with the course’s end goal. This is impor­tant not just for orga­ni­za­tion, but because of how much it helps you stay focused and avoid adding unnec­es­sary infor­ma­tion. Remem­ber short, sweet and insight­ful are key.

4. Practice and Record 

Define how you are going to deliv­er your con­tent. It may be through videos, down­load­able sheets, writ­ten con­tent, info­graph­ics, etc. Videos can be a most effec­tive way to com­mu­ni­cate con­tent. Not only because many peo­ple are visu­al learn­ers, but it is so easy for peo­ple to see exact­ly what you’re talk­ing about. Plus it’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty for them to build a con­nec­tion with you as a brand or individual. 

If don’t feel com­fort­able on cam­era, just prac­tice! It will get easier. 

Be con­scious of your deliv­ery ener­gy — if you don’t sound excit­ed about what you teach, peo­ple will quick­ly dis­en­gage. And when record­ing, pre­tend you’re talk­ing to a friend. Pause when you feel like you’re going to say “Um,” or “Like” —  anoth­er rea­son to keep the con­tent clear and sim­ple.  When I start­ed record­ing videos for cours­es or going live online I stum­bled a lot. But I kept at it and 4 years lat­er, I’m doing cours­es with LinkedIn Learn­ing. I promise the more you prac­tice the more con­fi­dent you will become. 

Nicte Cuevas at LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Learning, LinkedIn Author, LinkedIn Instructor, Graphic Designer, Online course for Adobe Spark Post, Course for Adobe Spark Post,

5. Promote the Online Course

Con­grat­u­la­tions! You did all the hard work and your course is com­plete. Now you want to make sure that you pro­mote your course so that peo­ple can ben­e­fit — and leave you pow­er­ful tes­ti­mo­ni­als. 

Be strate­gic. Des­ig­nate set times in your cal­en­dar were you will focus on pro­mot­ing it. Cre­ate graph­ics in advance to use, keep­ing them direct, easy to read and brand­edMake a video short (or a few) of what to expect from your course. Con­sid­er entic­ing or reward­ing those who watch the les­son or course with an addi­tion­al free down­load from your website.

Since tes­ti­mo­ni­als are the most pow­er­ful way to share the val­ue your course pro­vides, ask a select group of peo­ple for a review (video or writ­ten) before you launch it to the pub­lic, so you can share them and pique interest!

Defin­ing, cre­at­ing, record­ing your online course is a lot of work!  And when you’re try­ing to pro­mote it, design­ing the assets for it can seem over­whelm­ing. Don’t wor­ry, we’ve got your back! Check out my course on LinkedIn Learn­ing on Adobe Express. It will teach you the tools you need to feel con­fi­dent about cre­at­ing your own con­tent for your brand. It’s a per­fect sup­port for cre­at­ing the graph­ics you will need to pro­mote your course.

Has this sparked more ques­tions about cre­at­ing an online course? Ask us in the com­ments below!

About the Author

Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, LinkedIn Learning, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

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