They say, “Go big or go home.” But sometimes that’s not the best strategy, especially if you’re just dipping your toes in the entrepreneurial waters.
Creating a full-length online course can take weeks or even months. Not only do you need to create the course materials for your customers, but you also have to promote the course to generate sales.
If the idea of jumping into such a big project leaves you feeling nervous, switch your focus for a minute. Consider creating a mini course instead, so you can start making money online today.
Mini courses are a great place to start, especially if you’re new to online course creation. You can try new tools, experiment with social media platforms, and familiarize yourself with the world of online marketing.
What is a mini course?
A mini course is a condensed version of a long-form course. It contains less material, but it still packs plenty of value into a small package.
So, how do you keep a course small while still providing value? You narrow your topic as far as you can without making the course irrelevant.
For instance, you don’t want a topic that you could cover in a 1,000-word blog post, but you don’t want to go so broad that you won’t be able to satisfy your customers.
Choose a topic that will demonstrate your expertise and help bring fans to your brand. A positive reaction to your mini course will give you the confidence you need to expand into larger courses.
Finding the right mini course topic and content balance is the key to success.
Why you should create a mini course
A mini course lets you figure out what works and what doesn’t without depleting your financial or mental reserves. You’ll figure out what content resonates with your audience, then apply what you’ve learned to future, full-length online courses.
Every business owner wants to build a loyal customer base, but you have to offer something in order to do that. Building out a mini course is a cost and time-effective way of creating something of value to get customer buy-in.
There are plenty of people who want to learn more about a particular subject, but don’t want to spend a ton on a full course.
By offering a mini course, you can pique customer interest and garner more sign-ups because of the lower price tag. Once someone buys your mini course, learns (and loves) the material, and comes back for more, you have what every business owner dreams of: customer loyalty.
Next thing you know, you’re creating complex, in-depth online courses and making serious money. And the best part is you’ve used the mini course to build a customer base that is ready and waiting to take your full online courses.
Mini courses are a win-win for everyone. You get instant leads and generate revenue while your customers get the content they want at an affordable price.
How to create a mini course in 8 easy steps
Yes, a mini course is shorter and less dense than a full-length course. But it’s still a product that needs to pack value in order to sell.
That takes work, but it’s easier if you break the project down into steps. We’re going to show you step-by-step how to create a mini course for your brand so you can start bringing in money right away.
We promise it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
1. Build your brand around a theme or topic
Every entrepreneur needs a theme, topic, or niche: Something that sets them apart from everyone else who sells digital products.
Think about how your expertise applies to your target audience’s:
- Pain points
- Experience level
A mini course can demonstrate to your target audience what your brand represents. It shows what approach you take to online learning, what topics you find most important, and what theme you’ll maintain through the life of your business.
There are lots of broad topics out there. Take fitness, for example.
Some people are interested in fitness because they want to feel better, lose weight, keep up with the kids, or run a marathon. Others have been lifelong athletes who continue to view fitness as a top priority in their lives.
You can see how 100 entrepreneurs could take the topic of fitness in 100 different directions. You just have to put your personal stamp on it.
An entrepreneur who creates competition-related fitness courses would not share an audience with an entrepreneur who creates fitness courses about losing weight. The audience members have different goals, pain points, experience levels, and motivations.
Creating a mini course can help you define what makes your brand unique and pave the way for a profitable future. If you find a niche that a lot of people can relate to, your prospective audience expands.
2. Create a membership site
Your mini course needs a place to live and your customers need a place to find your course.
Creating a membership site answers both of these needs.
Make sure your site design and copy resonate with the niche you identified in the previous step.
With a membership site set up, there are plenty of ways to already generate buzz and revenue around your brand:
- Use lead magnets to grow your audience and get them excited for your mini course.
- Poll your existing members to get an idea of what mini course topics they’re interested in
- Interact with members and encourage them to follow you on social, where you can quickly spread the word about your site and course
- Build your email list by encouraging people to sign up for your newsletter or offering exclusive promotions
You could even host a giveaway. Since you’ve created a mini course instead of a full-length course, you won’t feel as anxious about giving away access for free. Host a contest and pick one or more winners to take your mini course for free. People who don’t win might decide they want to sign up anyway, which makes them paying customers.
With Kajabi, you can easily create your site and mini course within the same platform.
3. Establish your online audience
A mini course can help establish your online audience. By creating a stable of existing customers, you can market and sell your material more effectively.
To grow an online audience around your mini course, you need to get the word out about it. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Launch a paid social media campaign
- Ask other experts in your field to promote your mini course to their customer base
- Write blogs about the subjects you’ll be covering
- Tell your friends and family about it
- Promote it to your email list (if applicable)
For any audience-growing campaign, make sure to direct your prospects back to the membership site you built in Step 2.
Once you have an established audience, you’re far more likely to make sales in the future. Existing customers can even help grow your audience, as they’re likely to share what they’ve learned on social media, review your course, and tell their friends about you.
Best of all, you’ll enjoy high customer retention levels if you release high-quality courses in the future.
Research shows that returning customers prove more valuable than new ones. They’re already brand-aware, so you don’t have to spend as much time, energy, or effort to bring them onboard. They already know they can trust you.
As your audience grows, you can connect with them in more powerful ways. You might build an online community around your online courses, but don’t get ahead of yourself. It all starts with creating that first mini course to get your feet wet.
4. Pick a mini course topic
This is perhaps the most important step in the process. You need a topic that you’re comfortable with and that will generate interest among your target audience.
For instance, you might find one topic incredibly interesting and fun to discuss, but if you find that your target audience isn’t seeking out that topic online, it won’t be profitable. You need a balance between what excites you and what excites your audience.
Start by researching online courses in your topic area. What have other entrepreneurs covered? You can always create similar courses, but you don’t want to duplicate content that already exists. You’ll turn off buyers who have already taken similar online courses.
Maybe you can’t duplicate the course, but you could put your own spin on a topic that’s already been covered. What’s your competitive edge?
Why does this matter? Because you want to generate sales through organic search. When someone types a query into the Google search bar, you want your online mini course to show up in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Once you find a topic and a keyword, create an enticing mini course title that will generate interest and excitement. Use powerful verbs, unique adjectives, and well-placed jargon to appeal to your audience.
A highly sought-after keyword in your course title can make it much easier for customers to find and purchase.
5. Build a buyer persona for your mini course
You know what topic your mini course will focus on, but who will buy it? Understanding your audience is just as important as understanding your topic.
Consumers have become extremely discerning since the advent of the Internet. They have unlimited resources at their disposal, and they don’t spend their money on just anything. They’re more likely to comparison shop and investigate an entrepreneur before handing over their hard-earned cash.
Plain and simple: If you don’t know your audience, you can’t market to them effectively. Start by building a buyer persona.
It’s a brief but detailed biography of a fictional customer. It contains information like:
- Professional and personal goals
- Problems and pain points
- Shopping and spending habits
Picture your ideal customer in your mind. This person can’t wait to get his or her hands on your mini course. With that in mind, write about the customer as though he or she were a real person.
You can use a template or simply write a paragraph-style biography. Get as much information as you can down on paper. Once you’re creating and marketing your mini course, you’ll know exactly who you’re talking to.
6. Identify your mini course goals
What do you want to accomplish with your mini course? More importantly, what do you want your customers to accomplish?
The answers to these questions should come from your personal core values which, by extension, become your business’s core values. Your beliefs and personal perspective will weigh heavily on the goals you set for your mini course and your customers.
These two goals will become increasingly important as you delve into the mini course’s content. You want it to serve both goals simultaneously so you can satisfy the customer while generating sales.
Your goal for your mini course
This first goal relates specifically to you and your business. What metrics do you want to hit? What outcome would you like to enjoy from releasing your mini course?
You could start with sales. Maybe you want to generate $1,000 in profit from your mini course. That’s a specific, actionable goal. You’ll have to market your mini course effectively and generate enough value to encourage word-of-mouth marketing.
Perhaps you’re less concerned with money than with brand recognition. You might want to convince 5,000 people to buy your mini course. In this case, you could price it lower than its true value to encourage more conversions.
Knowing your own goals for your mini course will help you design and implement a strategy that lends itself to those objectives. Just remember, you’re only getting started. Don’t set the bar so high that you can’t actually reach it.
Your customers’ goals for the mini course
Your second goal or set of goals should relate directly to your customers’ objectives. What can they expect to get out of your course? What problems will they solve? What goals will they achieve?
Whatever goal you decide on, make sure it’s specific and measurable.
Let’s go back to the fitness course. Maybe you’re creating a mini course about losing weight through aerobic exercise. The customer goal should not be generally to lose weight. It should be something like losing 10 pounds, or more specifically, losing 10 pounds in 30 days.
By getting specific about your goals, you can create a mini course that is focused and valuable.
7. Outline your mini course
Now that you have all the information you need for your mini course, you can sketch an outline for it. Include as much detailed information as possible about what each mini course module will cover and how you’ll deliver the content.
You don’t have to create a conventional outline. Nobody will see your course’s planning stage except for you, so feel free to get creative with how you plan your course. Find your groove and go with it.
For instance, maybe you prefer to write your ideas in longhand and explore the content through paragraphs of text. Maybe you’d rather record your ideas as you speak them aloud, or perhaps you’d rather jot down bullet points as they come to you.
Don’t feel boxed in by the concept of outlining. Just think of it as planning and getting your ideas on paper (or in an iPhone note).
After you’ve brainstormed ideas, start putting those ideas into a logical order. What steps should your customers take in the mini course to solve their problems or achieve their goals?
8. Create focused, actionable content
It’s finally time to create your mini course. You already know what content you’re going to deliver. Now you just need to put it together in an attractive, easy-to-use package.
This stage will look different depending on what mediums you use to deliver your mini course materials. For instance, if you’re primarily writing articles and other text-based content, your workflow will look much different from an entrepreneur who creates a lot of video content.
However you choose to deliver information, make sure that’s unique, actionable, focused, and reliable. Don’t deliver fluff. You want to wow your audience from the moment they open your course and begin the work.
Delivering value isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Remember, you’re the expert on the topic of your mini course. With each sentence you write or speak, ask yourself if it’s common knowledge or a truly unique take on your topic of choice.
Additionally, you don’t want to deliver information in a dry, flat tone. Put your personality to work. You want customers to relate not only to the information you impart, but also to you and your brand.
With Kajabi, building a mini course is super simple. With pre-built blueprints at your disposal, you can have a mini course up and running in just a day’s time.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
A mini course introduces you to online courses. You get a feel for what your audience expects from you and what you can deliver. Experiment with different mediums, such as video, screen-casting, written materials, and images to find the ideal way to deliver content to your customers.
A mini course gives you the freedom to experiment and create without the pressure that a full-length course creates. Instead of worrying about how much work remains in front of you, finish up the mini course faster and build your confidence.
Once you’ve released your mini course, you can get to work on a full-length course. It will already feel familiar, though you should always stretch yourself to deliver more value. Keep those existing customers on the hook so you can continue to generate revenue through the life of your business.
How to market your mini course
Once you’ve created your online course, you must make it as visible as possible. In other words, you have to market the course if you want to generate sales.
Kajabi offers the most full-featured course platform available on the market today. It’s also the perfect platform for generating income.
Once you create your mini course, you can sell it through Kajabi. Start with a dedicated Kajabi sales page.
It should detail the benefits that your mini course offers potential customers. Don’t forget to include things like pricing, deliverables, and other pertinent information.
End the sales page with a compelling call to action. Make buying your mini course irresistible with strong and savvy copy.
Think of your sales page as the gateway between a prospect and a customer. When someone lands on your sales page, they probably haven’t made up their mind. Your job is to make them click the “buy” button.
Imagery should play a part in your sales page, as well. Use photographs, videos, or other graphics to entice the visitor.
For example, if you’re offering a mini course on fitness, use before-and-after photographs of people. This shows customers that others have lost weight using your methods.
Additionally, you should include some biographical information. What makes you an authority on the topic? What do you bring to the table that other entrepreneurs lack? Credibility is huge when you’re marketing your mini course.
Establish a drip campaign for your email list
At Kajabi, we’re big fans of drip marketing. It’s the practice of gradually releasing information to your audience and leading them towards a purchase. Email offers the perfect medium for drip marketing.
Using Kajabi, put your email subscriber list on a drip campaign. Every few days, they will receive new content from you, all of it focused on your mini course.
Start with a welcome email that thanks the customer for subscribing to your list. Mention that you’ve built an online mini course that might benefit them.
Your next email might touch on pain points. What’s bothering your target customer? How can you help?
A drip campaign can last as long as you want, but aim for seven to 10 emails. The final email should include your hard sales pitch and direct people back to your sales page. Your customers are used to hearing from you by now, so they’ll be more receptive to your offer.
Promote your mini course on social media
The 80/20 rule should always apply to social media. Use 20% of your posts to promote your mini course, but use the remaining 80% to share useful, actionable information or to entertain your audience.
That said, it’s essential to promote your mini course on social media. Get creative. Make a YouTube video, share a meme that you’ve adopted for your course, and link to your sales page.
Blog about your mini course
Don’t neglect your blog, either. Demonstrate your ability to write long-form content about the topic you’ve chosen. You don’t want to give away your mini course’s content, but your blog posts should whet your audience’s appetite.
Share in-depth articles that show off your expertise and authority. If you’ve conducted independent research, share it. Consider writing anecdotes about your own life or your customers’ lives.
Pre-sell your mini course
If you’d like to secure more revenue before rolling out your mini course, try pre-selling it! Pre-selling means that you’re making your course available for purchase before you launch it (or even create it).
Pre-selling creates a sense of urgency for customers to buy-in early and allows you to market your mini course in a way that increases conversion rates.
For example, you could set a deadline for customers to purchase your course at a low price. All customers who buy after the deadline has passed have to buy at an increased price.
Pre-selling not only allows you to make cash up front, it also allows you to test the waters with customers, generate buzz, and collect more data. But the best part? Pre-selling will help you build up confidence before the mini course hits the main market.
Create, market, and sell your mini course using Kajabi
Kajabi allows you to create, market, and sell your mini course in just a few clicks. Just choose your Mini Course Product Blueprint, upload your own content, and you're set!
You can even use Kajabi to create your sales and landing pages, organize your social media content, and blog about your niche. The Kajabi Assistant can help you find the tools you need to make your mini course a success.
Sales won’t happen just because you want them to. If you put in the work, though, your mini course will fly off the virtual shelves.
With advanced analytics at your disposal, you can easily identify areas that need improvement and increase sales.
Create your mini course and make money today
A mini course isn’t nearly as formidable a project as a full-length course. You still have to pack plenty of value into the course.
After you learn how to create a mini course, you’ll enjoy several benefits. You can get to know your audience better, develop your brand around a specific theme or topic, start generating revenue right away, and get some experience with a smaller project.
Best of all, you can do all of this with the Kajabi platform.
- Build your brand around a theme or topic. ...
- Create a membership site. ...
- Establish your online audience. ...
- Pick a mini course topic. ...
- Build a buyer persona for your mini course. ...
- Identify your mini course goals. ...
- Outline your mini course. ...
- Create focused, actionable content.
Can you make money selling online courses? There are are several monetization options for a course creator. Successful course creators make around $1k – $10k per month on average. The top course creators can make 6- to 7-figure incomes per year.How do I create a course to sell? ›
- Choose the topic of your course.
- Conduct customer research.
- Select the format of your course.
- Test if your course has high market demand.
- Pre-sell your course.
- Outline your course content.
- Set course pricing and sales goals.
- Choose the right course platform.
- Udemy. Udemy is among the most popular and well-known online course platforms out there today. ...
- Teachable. With Teachable, course creators can customize all the details of their courses, including the design. ...
- Kajabi. ...
- Skillshare. ...
- Thinkfic. ...
- ProProfs LMS. ...
- Podia. ...
A mini course is a digital product similar to an online course but shorter in duration and cheaper. Usually, the time duration is from 30 to 90 minutes. It's usually a short, online video course without aditional digital downloads and printables.How do you create a course step by step? ›
- Choose the right subject matter.
- Test your idea.
- Research the topic extensively.
- Write a course outline.
- Create the course content.
- Bring your course online.
- Sell your online course.
- Market your content.
Typically two to three hours in length, a mini course focuses on helping your audience solve a specific problem or achieve one result. A free mini course is the perfect little tool to build an email list and determine who is interested in your full, paid course. Plus, building a mini-course doesn't require much effort.How much does the average course creator make? ›
|Annual Salary||Monthly Pay|
How much can you make selling courses online? You can make anywhere from $1000 to $100,000 or more per year selling online courses. Your revenue is going to depend mostly on the amount of traffic that you can bring to your courses, your conversion rate, and the price of your courses.How much does it cost to create a college course? ›
At an estimated 80 to 280 hours required to develop a 1-hour course, you can expect to pay roughly $5,850 USD to over $15,000 USD to get a fully polished course, in addition to the cost of your Instructional Designer (ID) and SME.
Many aspiring creators ask themselves this very question when they are looking to start a new online course. The time you will need to put a course together really depends on your specific case, however it generally takes anywhere between 25 to 500 hours to craft an online course.How do I create a sales funnel to sell online courses? ›
- Step 1: Determine your target audience's requirements. ...
- Step 2: Create and distribute content for free that addresses a specific issue. ...
- Step 3: Provide a complimentary resource to help you generate a customer list. ...
- Step 4: Begin your drip marketing strategy.
- Consider timing and logistics.
- Recognize who your students are.
- Identify the situational constraints.
- Articulate your learning objectives.
- Identify potential assessments.
- Identify appropriate instructional strategies.
- Plan your course content and schedule.
- Work From Home Business.
- Influencer Marketing.
- Machine Learning.
- Artificial Intelligence.
- Cryptocurrency Investing.
Teachable is a great platform for anyone looking to teach online. With Teachable, you can easily create courses, upload videos or audio files as course materials, and sell your course using a simple checkout process. It's quick and easy to get started, and you can quickly create and publish a course.What is a course creator? ›
An online course creator is someone who develops virtual learning materials.How do I start a learning company? ›
- Identify Target Audience. ...
- Decide the Core Content for your eLearning Business. ...
- Create Lessons & Courses. ...
- Choose an eLearning Platform. ...
- Price Your Courses. ...
- Promote your eLearning Business.
- Choose an authoring tool that is right for you. ...
- Research your eLearning audience and subject matter beforehand. ...
- Create an eLearning template or use an existing one. ...
- Choose a cloud-based learning management system. ...
- Use links to add multimedia and resources.
- Free eLearning authoring tool #1 – iSpring Free. ...
- Free eLearning authoring tool #2 – Udutu. ...
- Free eLearning authoring tool #3 – IsEazy. ...
- Free eLearning authoring tool #4 – Adapt. ...
- Free eLearning authoring tool #5 – CourseLab. ...
- Free eLearning authoring tool #6 – GLOMaker.
Mini lessons are the perfect tool for teaching key skills related to reading, writing, and math. You can truly use mini lessons for any subject or topic, even skills related to social-emotional skills, direction following, and behavior.
It can take anywhere between 3 days to 2 months to create an online course, assuming that you are working on it full time. A mini-course covering a very narrow topic can be produced in only 3 days or less, while a complete in-depth 20h masterclass covering all levels can take several months to produce.How many lessons are in a mini unit? ›
A mini-unit generally consists of three to five 45-minute lessons (hence the name "Mini"!).What is a course template? ›
Course templates allow you to configure, store and reuse components of a course, such as quizzes, assignments, surveys, images, and so on, and then use the components in individual course offerings.How do you write a course structure? ›
- Course Description from the Academic Calendar. Course description... ...
- Course Goals. ...
- Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes. ...
- Assessment Overview. ...
- Assessment Plan. ...
- Plagiarism Announcement. ...
- Schedule of Activities. ...
- Reading List.
Short courses vary in duration, from just a few hours to a few months, depending on which course you enrol in.How short is a short course? ›
In swimming, the term short course (abbreviated SC) is used to identify a pool that is 25 metres (27.34 yd) in length. The term is also often included in meet names when conducted in a short course pool.How many hours a week is 3 courses? ›
|Credits to be earned||Hours per week, 7-week course||Hours per week, 8-week course|
|1 credit||6 hours||5 hours|
|3 credits||18 hours||16 hours|
|6 credits||36 hours||32 hours|
|12 credits||72 hours||63 hours|
Partnering with brands for sponsored content is the most widespread way for creators to make money. Depending on the size and engagement of an influencer's following, they can get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars (or even millions) to advertise products or services.How much does a creator with 1 million followers make? ›
How much money does 1 million TikTok followers make? TikTok creators with 1 million followers or more can expect to make an average of $1,500 per post for branded content. One creator, Jenn Leach, reported earning $88 for 1.6 million views, which works out to 6 cents per 1,000 views.Are online courses passive income? ›
Today, many people in different fields generate passive income by teaching online courses or classes. Whether they're already professionals in their chosen subject or amateur enthusiasts, delivering online study programs offers a great way of topping up their other income.
- Pick the perfect course topic.
- Ensure your course idea has high market demand.
- Create magnetic and compelling learning outcomes.
- Structure your modules and course plan.
- Determine the most engaging and effective delivery methods for each lesson.
How long does it take to develop 1 hour of eLearning? A average 1-hour interactive elearning course will take 197 hours to develop. But development of a 1-hour elearning course can range between 49 hours for the low end of the range of a “basic” course to 716 hours for the high end of the range of an “advanced” course.How much does it cost to create a canvas course? ›
The best part is that it usually takes less than 24 hours for users to get a response when they post a question in the Canvas Community. It is also completely free.How much does it cost to create an eLearning module? ›
The cost of an eLearning program typically costs between $200 and $900 for every minute of completed eLearning, but depends on several factors, including: Which eLearning level you choose (Level 1, 2, or 3) Whether your eLearning has professional voiceover.What are the components of a writing mini lesson? ›
Minilessons have a frame, an organization, a way that they go. Many teachers are familiar with the four-part structure that includes connection, teaching, active engagement, and link (Anderson 2000; Calkins 1994).How do you organize course materials? ›
Use well labeled, color coded filing cabinets, storage carts, colorful boxes and even old pill bottles to organize materials. Once a year go through your materials and clear the clutter. Give away or get rid of outdated books, technology, and other resources that you are not using.How do you plan a course work? ›
- 1) Break down the task.
- 2) Make a timetable.
- 3) Set a soft deadline.
- 4) Reserve your resources early.
- 5) Respect the editing process.
A course outline should include a brief course description and the learning outcomes, outlining the topics that will be covered in the course in the order in which they will be covered.What is course format? ›
A course format refers to the layout of a course. Teachers can select a course format from Course navigation > Settings > Course format. An administrator can enable, disable or delete course formats for courses from Site administration > Plugins > Course formats > Manage course formats.
A mini lesson plan is an outline that describes what will be taught, how it will be taught, and what examples will be used. There are four basic sections: objective, method, checking for understanding, and applying knowledge. Objective - This is simply a statement that clarifies the goal of the activity.How many steps are in a mini lesson? ›
The four steps of an effective mini-lesson are married to the gradual release of responsibility. However, do not expect students to master a literacy skill in one 15-minute lesson. Plan a multi-day series where you execute the 4 steps each day, shifting the responsibility as the students get better and better.What are the different types of mini lessons? ›
There are three kinds of mini-lessons: Procedural, Craft and Skills (for more details, see Mini-Lessons: Establishing the Writers Workshop).What are the five aspects of organizing a course? ›
Grave introduced five aspects of organizing a course: determining the organizing principles, identifying the course units based on the organizing principles, sequencing the units, determining unit content, and organizing unit content (p.What is a course organizer? ›
organiser's remit varies according to local school organisation, but in outline the course organiser is. responsible for: • general course management. • assessment and feedback. • advising and supporting students on course-related matters.How many hours does it take to create a course? ›
It can take anywhere between 3 days to 2 months to create an online course, assuming that you are working on it full time. A mini-course covering a very narrow topic can be produced in only 3 days or less, while a complete in-depth 20h masterclass covering all levels can take several months to produce.How do I create my first course? ›
- Find your niche.
- Choose a diverse platform.
- Create a direction and theme.
- Take a look at your top-performing content.
- Find the right medium for your material.
- Start generating content.
- Set rates for each online course.
- Market your course to your target audience.
Course design is the process and methodology of creating quality learning environments and experiences for students. Through deliberate and structured expose to instructional materials, learning activities, and interaction, students are able to access information, obtain skills, and practice higher levels of thinking.