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Five Keys to a Successful Online Course

Key #2: Deep dive on either topic, audience, or both.

The biggest mistake that I see is that people make courses that are way too broad. 

This one is a good one! Think about this: a course for everyone is really for no one.

The biggest mistake that I see is that people make courses that are way too broad.

Specific sells, but very specific sells more at a higher price.

You have to be specific in terms of who you are selling to and what problem you’re solving for them. You have to be specific. I can’t tell you how many times people say, “Oh, I just want to create a course on social media. I just want to create a course on selling,”

The bottom line is you want to be specific.

Now, let see what this looks like in action, because that is a great theory, but what does it really looks like in real life? Think about this.

Who is your course really for?

Then deep dive either on topic, audience, or both.

Here is a great example of deep diving on topic.

Take a very broad subject like “Music Lessons.” That could mean piano. That could mean the flute. That could mean the triangle. It’s very, very broad.

So let’s narrow that down to “Wind Pipe Instrument Lessons.” That would include things like the clarinet, the flute, the other wind pipey things out there (I know my instruments extremely well as you can tell).

The sweet spot is “Clarinet Lessons” and that is what Michelle does. Her course sells close to six figures and teaches how to master the clarinet. In fact, she focuses on older adults. Super specific.

Here is another example from the wonderful and lovely Dana. She started with the super broad starting point of “Social Media.”

Better, but still too broad, “Creating Content on Social Media Sites.”


And the sweet spot that Dana found is, “Creating Traffic Driving Images on Social Media Sites.” I mean, how cool is that? It’s a hyper specific topic and that’s what separates people that are successful from those that are not.

Ok, one more. This is one is a great one. Mark Dawson. Mark is a great example of niching down on audience. Mark focuses on Facebook ads, but that would be very, very broad. So he could niche down on ads for small business or ads for entrepreneurs. But how many courses are there right now in Facebook ads? There are a ton of them, right? So, look where Mark found a sweet spot, “Facebook Ads for Authors.” Mark’s course, “Facebook Ads for Authors,” has now done over seven figures in sales in just the last year and over $2 million total.

There are riches in niches.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “What is the magic sauce here?” There are a lot of different things, but here is what you need to keep in mind with the sweet spot: Let’s say you’re an author, and you’ve got all these courses in front of you, right? And there is a long stream of Facebook Ads courses, and you can’t decide which one to take. Then you see one that is “Facebook Ads for Authors.” Which one do you think you’d buy?

Regardless of the price, which one are you going to buy?

You’re going to buy the one that matches your needs the best. And that is why Facebook ads for authors absolutely rocked.

Now, before you say, “But, but, but, but, David, I saw ‘whoever’ and she has a course on a really broad topic.”  If you see someone that has a course on a really broad topic, it is one of two things. Number one, they’ve been at this for a long time. And they got into the course game before anybody so they could make a course on anything, because courses were new.

Number two is that they have a ginormously massive audience. If you have a ginormously massive audience, you could make a course on how to use toilet paper and someone will buy it.

Quick Tip: The best way to compete against the big boys and girls is by getting more specific. And you can’t really go too specific. You don’t want to get down so far that you are focused on something as narrowed as left-handed people in Iowa who throw a baseball over 90 miles an hour. But the biggest mistakes I see though in terms of coming up that is being too broad.