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Alexander K.

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Here is another valuable experience. I created the first version of my course in English, which is my adopted language. I was a bit shy about pre-selling it, so I only pre-sold it when it reached the level of 17 out of 51 lessons. It worked well in terms of money I gained, but only a few students have actively engaged with the course. I can also see that some of the students tried to skim over the lessons, and that didn't work well, as they are supposed to do their homework and to take their time. So they got lost, and I hopefully helped them by advising to go back and do the first few lessons properly.

Now, after the reasonable success with the English version, I decided to create a version of the course in my mother's tongue, which is Russian. The difference was that I pre-sold it when I only had 3 lessons in Russian ready. And I am adding 3 lessons per week, I can't do more than that at the moment. The result is that people are waiting for every coming lesson, and they are doing their homework and posting it so that I could check. So the overall impression is that my Russian audience engages with the course much better than the English one. They were a little bit uncomfortable in the very beginning, having paid their price for only three lessons, but they seem to be quite happy now doing their homework for each and every coming lesson. There is also some importance in the fact that the Russian audience is most probably less over-saturated with information, compared to the English one, and it is traditionally more thirsty for knowledge, but still, the merits of an early pre-sell remain obvious for me.
 
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ExcelGuy

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[QUOTE ]... but still, the merits of an early pre-sell remain obvious for me.[/QUOTE]

Very interesting. I'm considering using Udemy to put out my first course and maybe someday developing my own platform. Are you using a platform of some kind?

51 sounds like a lot of sections. Also, how to you tell customers that jot all the material is available yet?
 

AndrewNC

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Here is another valuable experience. I created the first version of my course in English, which is my adopted language. I was a bit shy about pre-selling it, so I only pre-sold it when it reached the level of 17 out of 51 lessons. It worked well in terms of money I gained, but only a few students have actively engaged with the course. I can also see that some of the students tried to skim over the lessons, and that didn't work well, as they are supposed to do their homework and to take their time. So they got lost, and I hopefully helped them by advising to go back and do the first few lessons properly.

Now, after the reasonable success with the English version, I decided to create a version of the course in my mother's tongue, which is Russian. The difference was that I pre-sold it when I only had 3 lessons in Russian ready. And I am adding 3 lessons per week, I can't do more than that at the moment. The result is that people are waiting for every coming lesson, and they are doing their homework and posting it so that I could check. So the overall impression is that my Russian audience engages with the course much better than the English one. They were a little bit uncomfortable in the very beginning, having paid their price for only three lessons, but they seem to be quite happy now doing their homework for each and every coming lesson. There is also some importance in the fact that the Russian audience is most probably less over-saturated with information, compared to the English one, and it is traditionally more thirsty for knowledge, but still, the merits of an early pre-sell remain obvious for me.

Do you see potential for video training courses in a lot of industries in Russia? I sell in the US and it sounds like there would be a great market over there based on what you're saying.

Thanks for the great info!
 

Alexander K.

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Very interesting. I'm considering using Udemy to put out my first course and maybe someday developing my own platform. Are you using a platform of some kind?

51 sounds like a lot of sections. Also, how to you tell customers that jot all the material is available yet?

As for the platform, I created my very first course on Udemy but it wasn't really successful. One reason might have been that it was my very first course, so I was learning a lot of things. Video, microphones, camera, ScreenFlow... Udemy is a very controlling environment, they will be telling you what to do and what not to do, but that might be useful when you are learning.

They are also going to sell your course at any price they'll deem reasonable. My Udemy course is now priced at $95 and I can see it sold for as little as $2 sometimes. When the price was $20, there were no sales at all, after I changed it to $95, a few sales started coming occasionally, probably because of the difference between $2 and $95. So with Udemy, you might want to price your course as high as possible, and then still a bit higher.

The biggest drawback with Udemy is that they won't allow you to pre-sell an unfinished course, and that is not good. You will need to finish the course completely — and then you might discover that nobody is actually interested in it :)

The platform I am using now is Teachable.com. This company was established by course creators who were frustrated by Udemy. So far I believe Teachable is the best platform for creating online courses, although they do have their share of problems. Nothing major though, and I especially appreciate their payment system integration.

I have 51 lessons, not sections, there are 6 sections. I used my mailing list to promote the course. The tactic was to offer it at a substantial discount to the early adopters and give them an idea of what's coming in the rest of the course. I was first selling the course at $50, then, when more lessons were ready, at $99, while the finished course is priced at $197 for the basic version and $595 for the Pro version, just to give you an idea of pricing.

One way to tell the prospective buyers what's coming is to publish the lessons empty, with no content, and then gradually add content when it's ready. I haven't done it myself but I was advised of this as a possibility.
 
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Andy Black

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My course is on Thinkific @ExcelGuy. Similar to Teachable and a coin flip for me to decide between them. Their Facebook group is more active than Teachable's if that's important for you.

If I was to put a course on Udemy it would be purely to use it as a marketing channel.


@Alexander K. ... maybe your course lends itself to being a monthly drip fed one?
 

Alexander K.

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Do you see potential for video training courses in a lot of industries in Russia? I sell in the US and it sounds like there would be a great market over there based on what you're saying.

My niche is very narrow and I can't tell you about a lot of industries but my general impression is that the Russian market of online learning is much less saturated compared to the Western one. Also, people are very grateful for quality content, maybe because there are many courses that promise but not deliver. On that reason, Russian students can be a bit suspicious in the beginning.

It was a great pleasant surprise for me that Russians can pay using Western payment systems just fine — well, most of them can, especially the younger people. However, PayPal doesn't work well there, they tend to use Visa or MasterCard, so Stripe works well for me.
 
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Alexander K.

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My course is on Thinkific @ExcelGuy. Similar to Teachable and a coin flip for me to decide between them. Their Facebook group is more active than Teachable's if that's important for you.

@Alexander K. ... maybe your course lends itself to being a monthly drip fed one?

Drip feeding would work well, yes, but I am in the first half a year of my entrepreneurship so moving quickly to be able to pay the bills!

I looked at Thinkific but my understanding (or maybe my lack of understanding) is that you can't have in one lesson a bunch of resources, like the video itself, a few PDFs, links, etc. Also, my students seem to like interactive quizzes that come with the lessons, and an ability to leave a comment or ask a question under the lesson.
 

Alexander K.

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Just out of curiosity, how long did it take you take make your courses?

Edit: NVM. You answered it earlier

I am usually able to create a lesson or two a day but I am doing it a hard way and hoping to find an easier way. I am writing the text of the lesson, making slides, recording a talking head intro, then going through the slides with ScreenFlow etc. Lots of work. I am now trying to conduct a webinar, then sell the recording.
 

Andy Black

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I am usually able to create a lesson or two a day but I am doing it a hard way and hoping to find an easier way. I am writing the text of the lesson, making slides, recording a talking head intro, then going through the slides with ScreenFlow etc. Lots of work. I am now trying to conduct a webinar, then sell the recording.
I wanted to move super fast creating my lessons so broke them down into 2-5 minute videos and got into a rhythm of record, edit, publish.

I was able to create three to four videos a night.

I didn't bother with intros and outros, and I just dived straight into the meat of each lesson.

I didn't rehearse or script it, but then that meant more editing afterwards of course.

Students of the course actually liked that I got straight to the point without an intro and with barely a sentence to explain what this lesson was about.

It may be that you need to have slides because you're teaching a language, but have you considered recording yourself with a flipchart? I get more energy standing and using a flipchart, and I suspect it makes it more engaging for viewers to see someone and to see them unscripted .

I'm almost doing it the reverse of you. I hit go, ramble, then cut. Then edit out where I've derailed myself and gone completely off topic, and then can have a transcription made (but haven't for most of my videos).

My AndyTalks progress thread might be useful for you (see link in my signature).

EDIT: Here it is:
Notable! - [Progress] #AndyTalks
 
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Alexander K.

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Aug 6, 2017
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I wanted to move super fast creating my lessons so broke them down into 2-5 minute videos and got into a rhythm of record, edit, publish.

I was able to create three to four videos a night.

I didn't bother with intros and outros, and I just dived straight into the meat of each lesson.

I didn't rehearse or script it, but then that meant more editing afterwards of course.

Students of the course actually liked that I got straight to the point without an intro and with barely a sentence to explain what this lesson was about.

It may be that you need to have slides because you're teaching a language, but have you considered recording yourself with a flipchart? I get more energy standing and using a flipchart, and I suspect it makes it more engaging for viewers to see someone and to see them unscripted .

I'm almost doing it the reverse of you. I hit go, ramble, then cut. Then edit out where I've detailed myself, and then can have a transcription made (but haven't for most of my videos).

One thing is for sure — all subjects are different. Mine is a bit technical and occasionally can get a bit complex, so my students appreciate me being thorough and giving them some aids. But yes, I will need to learn to move quicker, and not stress over each and every detail. I think webinars are giving me a good opportunity for this but I am still in the very beginning with them.
 

Andy Black

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One thing is for sure — all subjects are different. Mine is a bit technical and occasionally can get a bit complex, so my students appreciate me being thorough and giving them some aids. But yes, I will need to learn to move quicker, and not stress over each and every detail. I think webinars are giving me a good opportunity for this but I am still in the very beginning with them.
I've only done one course so far. You can signup for the free lessons and check out the only flip-chart one.

Totally agree. Good things happen when you move at pace.

Maybe find somewhere where you can drop lessons for free and get feedback about whether it's helping or not.? Maybe a busy forum filled with people you can help - because they're there with a common problem you solve? This has the added benefit of getting you known in those places.
 

ExcelGuy

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In my head I believe that creating courses is the hard work but it can lead to recurring income. But future scaling could include hiring others to develop courses etc.
And then you can become the Russian version of Thinkific or Teachable! [emoji41][emoji3]

Sent from my SM-A500W using Tapatalk
 
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Alexander K.

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In my head I believe that creating courses is the hard work but it can lead to recurring income. But future scaling could include hiring others to develop courses etc.
And then you can become the Russian version of Thinkific or Teachable! [emoji41][emoji3]

My current idea of how to expand is different: I need affiliates. But finding ones proves to be difficult. My niche isn't that big and people who dwell in it automatically consider each other as competitors and aren't open to cooperation. Which I think is silly and I'll be trying to break this ice.

Where I did something silly is when I offered people to give feedback on their homework. I now moved this feature to the highly priced Pro version of the course, and if it will take off, I hope to have enough money to hire someone to check those homeworks.
 

GravyBoat

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I am in the middle of filming my course, Andy, I will be incorporating flip chart videos like you suggested. Using Teachable. Promoting via YouTube channel, also looking for affiliates.

Follow'd. Keep kicking a$$ sir.
 

MattR82

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I'm thinking of putting something together with a friend, possibly with thinkific. Not really expecting to be successful with it to be honest but it sounds like fun and a good learning experience. Will follow the threads :)

I'm not sure if it really fits into the whole course model though. Since moving to Vietnam to teach English I've had someone message me every two weeks asking for help with what to do. I always give as much help as I can as I was in the same position not long ago and got lucky meeting the right person. Many people get ripped off big time. After doing this for a bunch of people I was surprised to see there was nothing out there I could point in their direction. It may just be an ebook though.

The idea of pre selling a course to test out if there is demand for a video course crossed my mind though. Although I don't think it would be that much work for us to just shoot it anyway.
 
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