“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it.”
Just like running a business, one of the first steps that yo must take once you have determined your course topic, is to identify your ideal student. This means that you must gather as much information as possible to help you create your online course.
When choosing your ideal student, you must not go too broad when selecting your ideal student. The narrower, the better because then you can create a course that lands with them and supports them to achieve a specific result. If you go too broad then the chances are, you’ll miss what your students actually need because you are too busy trying to help everyone, and so whilst your intentions maybe good, it won’t sell your course.
You cannot market your course to everyone because your message will get lost. It’s a far better strategy to narrow down your audience and focus on a specific segment of the market that you can really help and make a difference too because you’ll be able to create far more effective content that delivers actual results.
By niching your audience, you can focus directly on the needs on this audience which will enable you to create a far bigger impact. It also allows you to get really clear on who you are trying to help. Trying to help everyone is too much, you cannot be specific if you are trying to cater to everyone’s needs. By focusing on a smaller audience, you can crystallise exactly what their challenges or problems are and then create an effective solution that supports those people. The more you connect with your students on a deeper level, the more you will know how to support them better.
When you know the audience that you can support the most, it will not only help you to create an effective online course but it will also help you to determine the content that needs to be included in your course because you can make it specific to your students.
By knowing your student and what they need, you can then create exactly the content that they need that’s going to help them achieve the result that you are promising. The best online courses are very specific. Rather than being too broad, successful online courses focus in on the details of a particular topic.
Knowing your audience will also help you to market and sell your online course once it’s ready to go because you will be able to curate effective messaging that speaks directly to the hearts of your students. You’ll be able to identify their pain points through your messaging so that what you have to offer resonates with them.
Sales come from selling products that provide solutions and so throughout your marketing, you want to be able to engage with your audience so that they know you understand them and what they are currently experiencing. You want them to buy your course because they know you are the provider of their solution. This can only come from you understanding who they are, what they want and the results that they need in order for them to move forward.
The clearer you are about who your ideal student is, the easier it will be to not only create your online course but to sell it as well.
3 ways to define your ideal student
So with this in mind, I am going to share with you 3 ways to pinpoint your ideal student.
Tip 1: Who do you want to help?
Think about who you would actually like to help… is there a particular type of person or a specific group of people that you feel that you could easily support through your online course? perhaps you feel like you understand this group and know what they struggle with and so the course you create could benefit them in some way.
Consider the following:
- Where they are in their life
- If there have any other identifying similarities?
- What do they need from you
- What are they looking to resolve or learn about
- How will this benefit them in their life or in their business
Ask yourself; what you can bring to the table that’s going to make a difference to them?
Tip 2: Consider skill level
Consider the skill level of students that you want to teach… will it be beginner level, intermediate level or advanced level?
What do you feel most comfortable teaching?
By identifying the skill level you wish to teach at, you can then determine the type of student that you wish to attract. For example, if you are developing a course that focuses on a topic at an advanced level then you are not going to want to be attracting students that are just starting out. Similarly, if you are creating an online course that is introducing your students to a way of doing something for the first time then you don’t want to be attracting students that are experienced in this subject area because they will most likely will get bored and not complete the course.
Understanding the skill level of your ideal student will help you to determine the depth of the content you wish to offer and how much content to include in your course. It will also give you a good idea of the type of student you want taking your course.
Tip 3: Look beyond your existing customer-base
Look beyond your existing client base and consider who you could help that you are currently not supporting. One of the advantages of creating an online course is that it’s an effective way to impact more people and expand your customer-base. If you are a service provider that currently offers one to one services then I encourage you to think about people that would benefit from your help but cannot afford your prices.
How could you support them in a way that makes what you have to offer more affordable? Could you offer a ‘Do It Yourself’ solution in the way of an online course?
If you are creating an online course for the first time, you may want to consider starting with a mini course as this is one of the easiest and quickest courses to create. If you are looking to scale your business then expanding your customer-base will also provide further opportunity for growth.
Creating your Student Persona
Before you starting creating content for your online course, I would encourage you to create a Student Persona that will help you to get clear on who your ideal student is. A Student Persona is similar to a Buyer Persona but instead of focusing on a customer that will buy your products or services, it represents your ideal student that you want to enrol. It includes key information that is it’s specific to them and their needs.
It also includes information like who your audience is, demographic info, the persona’s background, their goals, their motivations, their frustrations and of course any objections they may have. This is a great tool to have at your finger tips when you start creating your content because it will keep you focused on who you are creating the content for.