It's an industry that's growing by the billions each year. Subject-matter experts like you are earning 6 to 7 figures annually by helping people solve their problems. It generates recurring income. Interested?
I'm talking about the online learning industry. A growing number of experts are bundling their knowledge, talents, and experience into online courses, which account for $275 billion of the growing $300 billion expert economy. You don't have to be a coach, teacher, or consultant to find success in this industry; you simply need to be an expert in something people want to learn more about. You might even turn a hobby into a thriving business.
"The secret to a successful online course is to focus on the results you create versus what you want to teach," says Jeanine Blackwell, author of The Expert Called YOU, How 8 Experts Build a Business and Life They Love, Sharing What They Know (and, How You Can, Too). Blackwell teaches experts how to build, brand, and market their online courses. Her book features the stories of eight women who have popular online courses that have launched six and seven-figure businesses.
"The reason these women are successful is that they're doing something different," says Blackwell. "While designing their courses, they didn't ask themselves what they can teach, but what problem do people have and how can my skills, experiences, and talent show up to make a difference for them?" This approach narrows the audience and the content to make the product eye-catching. "People don't buy the content, they buy the result," says Blackwell.
Right about now you are probably wondering if your expertise is marketable. Notice how these eight experts are very clear on what audience they serve, the problem they help the audience tackle, and the transformation they provide by sharing their expertise through online courses.
Kim Moore, Head Shape Matters
Moore's course helps hairstylists improve and gain confidence in their technique. She teaches them how to stop getting inconsistent cutting results and to instead gain predictable results for their clients. This increases their confidence in creating what their clients want, as well as their ability to rapidly grow a business through client referrals.
Zaretta Hammond, Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain
Audience: Education Professionals and Educators
Hammond's audience of educators experiences inconsistent levels of academic success in diverse students. Her course equips the teachers with the information and knowledge to build confidence and competence in culturally diverse students, so their students have a higher likelihood of reaching their full potential.
Rebecca Branstetter, The Thriving School Psychologist
Audience: School Psychologists
School Psychologists struggle with an overload of paperwork, which reduces the time they are able to spend helping their students. Branstetter teaches a system that moves school psychologists from "report writing machines" to do the work they really want to do: helping children to thrive in their academic and personal lives.
Christine Carr, Launch Mechanic
Audience: Canadian Start-ups
Carr's method she teaches in her online course is proven to significantly increase the success rate of Canadian start-ups entering the US market for the first time. She teaches them to translate their Canadian sales strategy for success in the U.S. so that they can quickly gain market share.
Tracy Sher, Pelvic Guru, LLC
Audience: Physical therapists, sex educators and health professionals treating pelvic pain.
Sher's online course helps health professionals to increase their competency levels in dealing with unresolved pelvic pain in men and women. The end result is greater success in eliminating their patients' pain.
Dr. Jackie Black, Thriving with Life-Threatening and Chronic Illness
Audience: Couples facing relationship problems due to the life-threatening or chronic illness of one partner.
Dr. Black's online course helps couples who are experiencing emotional isolation from one another. Her audience learns to reconnect and navigate the emotional journey of life-threatening and chronic illness together to create an even stronger and fulfilling relationship.
Nancy Hillis, The Artist's Journey
Audience: Abstract Artists
Artists sometimes struggle with feeling their art is not significant, or good enough. Hillis' course helps them to build confidence in their artistic voice, freeing them to create their deepest, most authentic, and astonishing abstract paintings.
Maia Toll, Herbiary
Audience: Herbalists and those curious about herbs and essential oils
With Mother Nature's endless array of herbs gracing this earth, it's easy to get overwhelmed and intimidated when using herbs and essential oils. Toll's course moves her students from being intimidated by herbs to incorporating them into everyday life by making their own products, teas, compresses, and poultices.
Blackwell says to identify your sweet spot for creating an online course think about your trifecta of talents, passions, and life experiences to discover the problem you can solve for your audience. Yes, you are an expert because everyone knows more than the average person about something worthy of sharing.