I wrote a post last week about the awesome things that can happen when you build a business around selling your own products or services.
If you haven’t read that post, spoiler alert: You make more money.
It’s also fun, and interesting, and lets you connect with your audience in a deeper way, beyond the connections you make on your blog or social media accounts.
But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.
If it’s so awesome, how come everyone doesn’t do it?
If it was as 1-2-3-easy as some of the gurus want you to think, we’d all be swimming in cash and Lamborghinis.
You probably wouldn’t be a Copyblogger reader if you bought into some of the insulting “so easy an orangutan could do it” promises.
So here’s the grown-up truth: Creating your own product takes time, it takes work, and it takes knowledge.
And the first time you do it, it’s a little bit like getting that 156-drawer cabinet from Ikea. You’ve got all the pieces on the floor of the living room, and the prospect of putting them together can look pretty daunting.
Can you do it? You absolutely can. But it’s easier with help.
We like helping people like you
One of our missions with this blog and this business is to help people take the hard stuff and make it easier.
I’d love it if you joined me and Chris Garrett for a free session on the mistakes people make when they’re putting together a product to sell
There’s a huge shift happening in the world of on-demand online education.
It’s commercial enterprises and savvy small businesses that are filling the demand for courses and lessons, rather than the typical institutions of learning.
Brian Clark saw an interesting article in Fast Company recently about jobs of the future. One job description caught his eye — there will be a large need for “freelance professors” as teaching moves into the on-demand realm.
From the article:
“The continued growth of online courses and the introduction of alternative accreditations will spawn a growth in freelance or independent professors. By 2025 all you need to start your own university is a great online teaching style, course materials, and marketing plan.”
This is what we predicted, and have been preparing people for, since 2007 with our Teaching Sells course. The difference being that the field is becoming littered with VC-backed education platforms that want you to make them rich rather than building your own platform and audience.
Yep … digital sharecropping comes to online education. Have we learned from the lessons of Facebook, Amazon, and Apple? Do you really think they have your best interests at heart?
In this 11-minute episode of New Rainmaker with Brian Clark, we’ll cover:
The mainstream acceptance of online learning
Why you haven’t “missed the boat”
How to make a living with online education
What to be aware of and what to beware of
The truth about leveraging a VC-backed platform
Click Here to Listen toNew Rainmaker with Brian Clark on iTunes
Editor’s note: This article was Pamela Wilson’s first guest post on Copyblogger, published on March 25, 2010 — well before she joined our team as VP of Educational Content. Pamela had just completed Copyblogger’s flagship course, Teaching Sells, and was ready to expand her successful offline design business into new online territory.
I just returned from a Bobby McFerrin concert, and now I know how to run my new business.
No, this post isn’t about “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Bobby McFerrin is much more than that.
You see, I’m a little nervous. For 23 years, I’ve made my income the same way — in a service business, as a graphic designer. Clients come to me for design work. I create something for them, and bill for my time. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat for 23 years, and you have a career as a successful designer.
But that’s all about to change.
I’m venturing into new territory. I’ve started a blog. I’m putting together a course. I’m interacting with my readers. I’m supposed to let them guide me, respond to their needs, offer what they’re looking for, and everything is going to work out fine.
Except, I’m just a little terrified. How exactly is content marketing supposed to work? Who are these people I am serving, and how do I know it’s all going to come together?
And that’s where Bobby comes in
The first thing you notice when you file into the theater at a Bobby McFerrin concert is that the stage
The online education industry will rake in $107 billion in 2015. And with the sale of Lynda.com to LinkedIn for $1.5 billion, the commercial sector is leading and pulling away from traditional institutions in the “just in time” education market.
People want online courses, and they’ll clearly pay for them.
And if great content marketing is giving away information worth paying for, then it seems smart to offer online courses as an audience-building and lead generation strategy.
In this 25-minute episode of New Rainmaker with Brian Clark, Brian and Robert Bruce discuss:
Why free courses are the best lead generation tool
Why you don’t have to create a Lynda.com to succeed
Our lead gen strategy (that works) from 2012
How Brian used this same strategy a decade earlier
Why people choose to buy from you
How we launched the Rainmaker Platform with a new podcast
Why you’ve likely created a valuable online course already
Click Here to Listen toNew Rainmaker with Brian Clark on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.
The post How Online Courses Accelerate Any Business Model appeared first on Copyblogger.
Imagine you’ve just launched your first product.
It’s a short little course, just a few weeks long, that teaches the “DIY” version of the topics you help people with every day. You built it once, delivered it online, and now it works for you while you’re off doing other activities you love.
This online course has been a transformative force in your life.
You’ve found financial freedom, because you’re no longer constrained by the economics of trading time for money. And you’ve multiplied your impact, making the world a better place for dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people.
It’s a pretty picture, isn’t it?
But you and I both know it isn’t so easy to achieve.
In reality, most people with big dreams of product creation end up spending months, or even years, investing time and money that they can’t afford to lose into a project that will probably never see the light of day.
It’s a sad reality, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Let your audience direct your product development …
What the creators of most blockbuster products have figured out is how to completely avoid that situation by allowing their audiences to guide product development.
This is one of the areas where Copyblogger has always excelled. They first discussed the concept of a minimum viable audience back in 2012:
Build an audience through content marketing. Let them tell you what they want. Build products and offer services based on their desires and needs. Prosper.