How To Create a Mini Course & Start Making Money Online Today
marketing Nov 21, 2017
They say, “Go big or go home.” But sometimes that’s not the best strategy, especially if you’re just dipping your feet in the entrepreneurial waters.
Creating a full-length online course can take weeks or even months. You not only need to create the course materials for your customers, but you must also promote the course to generate sales.
If the idea of jumping into such a big project has left you paralyzed, switch your focus for a minute. Consider making a mini course so you can start making money online today.
A mini course doesn’t require nearly as much effort or time. It’s not as big of a commitment.
That’s a good thing when you’ve never created an online course before. You’re trying new tools, experimenting with new social media platforms, and generally finding your way around the world of online marketing.
This isn’t the time to risk high stress levels and anxiety.
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 types of content resonate with your audience, and you’ll apply what you’ve learned to future, full-length online courses.
Does that sound like something you can handle? If so, use this guide to learn how to create a mini course, then get started right away.
What Is a Mini Course?
Learning how to create a mini course can put your online business on the map. You’ll have a product on your sales page that you can promote and from which you can generate cash.
As mentioned above, creating a full-length course can feel intimidating. Many professionals never get started because they fear the process — or the outcome.
Don’t let fear paralyze you. Instead, start slow with a mini course that will demonstrate your expertise and help bring fans to your brand. A positive reaction to your course might give you the confidence you need to expand into longer courses.
A mini course is a condensed version of a long-form course. It contains sparse materials, but it still packs plenty of value into that small package.
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.
Why Should You Create A Mini Course on Kajabi?
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 a mini course, you can sell it through Kajabi. You can also use Kajabi to market your course, track your KPIs and other metrics, and test the waters with your audience.
You can also use it to build your email list. Think of it as a giant lead magnet that’s priced just right for your audience. If they want to learn about your teaching style or experience your course materials, they have an opportunity to do so without spending a great deal of money.
That’s the other difference between a mini course and a full-length course. It’s far less expensive. Once you create full-length courses, you can leave your mini course open to new customers.
People who don’t want to make a large investment in someone they don’t know might overcome that objection if you offer a mini course. They know that they’re not taking as big of a risk.
Establish Your Online Audience
A mini course establishes your online audience by creating a stable of existing customers who have already experienced one of your digital products. They’re likely to share what they’ve learned on social media, review your course, and tell their friends about you.
Those are powerful benefits. Once you have an established audience, you’re far more likely to make sales in the future. Best of all, you’ll enjoy high customer retention levels if you release future courses and consistently offer plenty of value.
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.
Prove to yourself that you can create a digital product that you want. The rest will fall into place.
Build Your Brand Around a Theme or Topic
Every entrepreneur needs a theme, topic, or niche. Something that sets him or her apart from everyone else who sells digital products on the Internet.
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 to which many people can relate, your prospective audience expands.
Generate Revenue Without a Full-Length Course
We’ve already mentioned that a full-length course can seem overwhelming for new entrepreneurs. That’s not a judgment — it’s just a fact of life.
However, you can’t generate revenue if you don’t have any products. Take that first small step with a mini course to get comfortable with Kajabi’s tools, find your unique voice, and figure out how to relate to your audience.
It’s true that a mini course generally costs less than a full-length course, but you’re not concerned about generating lots of revenue at this stage. You just want some cash flow.
You might also create another revenue-generating product at the same time, such as a membership site, to help boost cash flow.
Once you’re bringing in money, you can analyze your approach and find ways to improve upon it. Update your marketing plan, poll your existing customers, and interact with your customers and prospects on social media.
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.
It sounds counterintuitive, but a giveaway can help boost interest in your online course. People who don’t win might decide they want to sign up anyway, which makes them paying customers.
Get Started With a Smaller Project
It’s easier to crawl than walk. You’ve heard it a million times. It certainly applies to business, though.
For instance, you might have tackled a large project by breaking it up into smaller sections. It all feels more doable that way.
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 and screencasting, 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 Create a Mini Course in 5 Steps
Now you understand why mini courses can prove beneficial to entrepreneurs, but how do you get started? Even though a mini course is shorter and less dense than a full-length course, it’s still a product that you intend to sell to your audience.
In other words, you want it to resonate with potential customers and to generate sales immediately.
That takes work, but it’s easier if you break the project down into sections. 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.
It’s not as difficult as it sounds.
1. Pick a 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.
This research can also show you what topics have been popular among your audience. Maybe you can’t duplicate the course, but you could put your own unique spin on a topic that’s already been covered.
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 course to show up in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
A highly sought-after keyword in your course title can make it far easier to find.
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 hit your audience’s sweet spot.
2. Build a Buyer Persona
You know what topic you’re going to create your mini course on, but who will buy it? Believe it or not, this information 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 everything they see. They’re more likely to comparison shop and investigate an entrepreneur before handing over their cash.
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 the customer’s age, income, hobbies, professional goals, problems and pain points, and goals and objectives.
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 so that, when you’re creating and marketing your mini course, you know exactly who you’re talking to.
3. Identify the Course’s 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 completely 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 your course lower than its full value to encourage more people to convert.
Knowing your own goals for your mini course will help you design and implement a strategy that lends itself to those objectives. Just remember that you’re only getting started. Don’t set the bar so high that you’ll never 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?
Let’s go back to the fitness course we talked about earlier. Maybe you’re creating a mini course about losing 10 pounds through fitness. Your customers want to lose 10 pounds since that’s what you promise in your course topic.
How can you help your customers become more likely to achieve that goal? What value can you insert in the course to make the vision a reality?
4. Outline Your Mini Course
Now that you know your audience, your topic, and your goals, you can sketch an outline for your mini course. Include as much detailed information as possible about what each 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 — getting your ideas from your head into a more physical form.
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?
5. Create Focused, Actionable Content
It’s finally time to create your mini course. You already know what content you’re going to deliver — 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 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. Just make sure that every word you speak or write tells the customer something he or she doesn’t already know.
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.
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.
Make a Kajabi Sales Page for the Mini Course
Start with a dedicated Kajabi sales page. It should detail the benefits that your mini course offers potential customers as well as the pricing, deliverables, and other interesting information.
End the sales page with a compelling call to action. Make buying your mini course irresistable through strong 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 help 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. In the fitness example we used earlier, for instance, you could use before-and-after photographs of people who 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?
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 building them toward 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 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. Your customers are used to hearing from you by now, so they’ll be more receptive to your offer.
Promote Your Course on Social Media
The 80/20 rule should always apply to social media. Use 20 percent of your posts to promote your mini course, but use the remaining 80 percent 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.
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 blueprint inside Kajabi, upload your own content, and you're set!
You can even use Kajabi create your sales page and landing pages, organize your social media content, and blog about your niche.
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.
The Kajabi Assistant can help you find the tools you need to make your mini course a success. Use beautiful templates for your sales and landing pages to make your course more attractive, then pay attention to your metrics so you know when you need to change tactics.
Don’t forget your email campaign. A drip campaign can help you bring in more customers and net more subscribers. A lead isn’t a customer yet — it’s your job to convert them.
A mini course isn’t nearly as formidable a project as a full-length course. You still must pack plenty of value into the course, but Kajabi makes it easy to deliver excellent content for your target audience.
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.
Start by selecting your course topic. What do you want to teach your customers? Based on that topic, build a buyer persona that represents your ideal customer. Get to know him or her as well as possible.
Establish goals for your mini course. Start with what you want to achieve. Are you interested in making a certain amount of money, netting a specific quantity of customers, or meeting some other KPI?
You also need to know what goals your mini course will help your customers achieve. Go back to your buyer persona to answer that question.
Once you have those pieces in place, outline and create your mini course. It doesn’t need to be long or complex, but it should deliver on the promise of the course’s title.
Creating focused, actionable content is essential for success.
Then comes the marketing stage. You’ll want to create a sales page for the mini course, start an email drip campaign, promote the course on social media, and write a few blog posts to generate interest.
Best of all, you can do all of this from the Kajabi platform.
Have you created a mini course for your audience? If not, what’s stopping you?
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