“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
– Mark Twain
2020 has gone and we now have a whole year stretched out in front of us, that means it’s time to get into business planning mode for the year ahead.
Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll make a habit of reviewing the previous year come January, and I think it’s fair to say that no one expected 2020 to be quite the rollercoaster it was!
Last year started off really well for Pink Lemon as we moved into our new office in Kent. We had just got settled and started hosting The Visibility Hub and then boom… we’re in lockdown. Those pre-planned goals became random words on a screen as we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic.
I’m sure I am not alone in finding myself having to re-evaluate and make changes, but one of the benefits of being in lockdown is having more time. So with that in mind, and being at the start of a brand new year, I want to share with you my thoughts about why a digital course needs to be included in your business development plans for 2021.
Firstly, let’s talk about what a digital course is.
A digital course (or eLearning as it’s also known) is a way of packaging up your knowledge and expertise and sharing it with the world to create a new income stream. Digital courses are growing rapidly in popularity due to the ease and accessibility of online learning platforms such as Udemy and Teachable.
It’s now commonplace for adults to ‘upskill’ and learn new things, and digital courses make that possible. Gone are the days where you would need to physically attend Adult Education classes in order to learn something new. Now you can find digital courses covering anything and everything at the touch of a button, so that you can learn from the comfort of your own home.
If there’s one thing I know about it’s adult learning, as I spent the majority of my twenties and early thirties upskilling. From the age of 22 to 27, I worked in London for various media houses, whilst attending night school to learn. I spent 5 years attending various colleges in the evenings, after long days at work. I would then commute back to Kent, which was exhausting as I wouldn’t get in until late.
At 27, I left London to take a 3 year BA Hons Degree course at University of Creative Arts. In total I had spent 8 years in adult education before finally qualifying in my chosen field. The reality is that now I probably could have completed a lot of these courses digitally making my life an awful a lot easier. The point is that we now have access to anything we want to learn, which is incredible.
Why should you create a digital course?
I’d like to share a statistic with you that puts digital learning into context: according to market research firm Global Industry Analysts, it is estimated that the online education industry will grow from $107 billion in 2015 to $370 billion in 2026.
That’s quite some growth! and it shows how popular digital learning has become. Trends have changed, people want to learn from the comfort of their own home, especially when we are confined to our homes in order to keep our loved ones safe, and learning new skills is a powerful safety net during a time in which our jobs are in constant jeopardy.
So why create your own digital course? Well the reasons are endless, but I’ll start with my own favourite top 10 reasons:
1. Brings more money into your business… cha-ching!
2020 has shown us that anything can happen, and so we need to be prepared. The reality is that you only have a certain amount of hours in the day and a certain amount of energy to give, and how you spend your time and energy matters.
It’s a far smarter strategy to create something once to sell over and over again and that’s exactly what you can do with a digital course. Having a digital course alongside your 1-2-1 services and products enables you to bring in another stream of income for your business.
2. Creates financial freedom
The great thing about a digital course is that there are no limitations when it comes to where you sell it; you can sell your course to someone on the other side of the world because you are not restricted by location. You can sell whenever, wherever and to whoever will benefit from it. This means that you can literally make money whilst you sleep and who doesn’t want that?
3. Positions you as an expert
A digital course enables you to leverage your know-how and become an expert within your field. If you facilitate a transition of any kind that makes a difference to someone then it’s worth exploring this direction.
By positioning yourself as the ‘go-to’ person, you open yourself up to further opportunities.
4. Allows you to make a greater impact in the world
Another great benefit of creating a digital course is that it means you can have a greater impact on people’s lives. Of course, earning money is great and we all want to achieve financial freedom, but there’s nothing quite like making a difference to create job satisfaction.
5. Elevates your brand
When I work with my clients, I talk a lot about brand strategy and how to develop a strong, meaningful and purpose-driven brand. Well what better way to achieve that than to create a digital product that makes a real difference?
This is one of the reasons I have created my own branding course ‘Getting Started with your Branding’ because not only will it make a difference to someone in their business (who cannot afford specialised branding services) but it also makes what I do different to other branding agencies.
This digital course demonstrates that I don’t just ‘talk the talk’ but that I am in the trenches ‘walking the walk’. I am completely committed to my subject and the fact that I have gone to a great deal of effort to create a digital product to teach others, validates my dedication.
6. Tap into a new audiences
We all know that in business it’s vital to pinpoint your ideal customer so that you can create products or services that directly meet their needs. Well the same can be said for digital courses. In order to successfully sell your digital course to the right student, you also need to know and understand their challenges and how your course can specifically solve them.
A key benefit of creating a digital course is that you can target customers that perhaps cannot afford your one to one services. This enables you to widen your client base and tap into a whole new audience.
This was a key driver for me creating ‘Getting Started with your Branding’ as so many entrepreneurs starting out in business need to know how to brand their business effectively but have limited funds because they are in the early stages of starting their business.
7. Provides time freedom
In my previous blog, ‘How I survived the Pause of 2020’, I wrote about how it’s not sustainable to exchange time for money in our businesses long-term. There’s always far too much to do and we cannot be everything to everyone all of the time.
One of the things I have also come to realise is that no one ever really pays enough for the value provided. How can they when it’s something that is difficult to quantify.
One of the ways in which we can create time freedom for ourselves is to change the way we work and our business model. Instead of exchanging time for money, what if we exchanged value for money instead?
Achieving time freedom will give you more time to spend developing your business rather than being stuck simply trying to stay afloat.
8. A great way to build your email list
Creating an email list for your business is one of the single most important things to do as it is a powerful way to develop a more meaningful and intimate relationship with potential customers. It’s also a great way to share your message with an audience that cares and wants to be a part of your brand.
According to the Nielsen Norman Group, when asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter with only a mere 10% choosing Facebook.
9. A digital asset that helps to increase the worth of your business
By creating a sellable digital course, you will be creating a valuable digital asset for your business. This becomes particularly important if you decide to sell your business in the future.
10. Differentiates you from your competition
What better way to help your business stand out, than to create a digital product that puts you head and shoulders above your competition? This will help define your USP and make the competition irrelevant.
Now you may find that there are other courses out there similar to the type of course you would want to create but that’s ok. In fact it’s actually a good thing because it proves that there is market-demand for what you have to offer.
Creating a digital course for your business will not only give you a strong competitive edge, it also proves that you are fully dedicated to achieving results for your customers. This means that you can focus your marketing efforts on tangible results, rather than competing on price.
So there you have it, my top 10 favourite reasons why you need to include a digital course in your business development plans for 2021.
You see during those long weeks of lockdown in early 2020, I had plenty of time to consider the impact of digital courses, and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that this was the right thing for my business, and the more I realised that it was probably the right thing for a lot of other businesses as well.
The world is changing and, whether for better or worse, the internet is going to play a bigger and bigger part in our everyday lives.
We need to make sure that our businesses don’t get left behind and digital courses are one of the best ways to create passive income, reach a wider audience and realise the full potential of your business.
If you’ve been considering creating a digital course but always felt that it wasn’t the right time then I’m here to correct you.
The time is right, the time is now, and the future is ours.
If you would like to book a FREE complimentary consultation to see how I can help you grow your business then please click here.