While your words can transport readers to another realm or teach them skills that will change their lives, there’s only so much you can do with the printed word. Just because you’re an author doesn’t mean that books must be your only product. As audio and video get more affordable and user-friendly to produce, you should consider adding courses to your product catalogue.
While the word “course” may bring to mind a packed room of students trying not to fall asleep as they listen to a biology lesson, the face of education has changed drastically in the last few years. Online learning has grown to a billion-dollar industry and there’s a lot of opportunity out there for even short instructional material. While courses take a long time to do right, and marketing them presents new challenges, there are many benefits to supplementing your author business with related teaching tools. Here are four reasons you should consider creating a course:
1. Readers Buy From Experts
Particularly with non-fiction, readers like to buy their books from people they know are at the top of their field. If you’re looking for motivation, then you’re probably going to search for Jack Canfield and Tony Robbins books because they’re the biggest experts in their sector. To sell more books in your own market, you need to become a name that people trust.
Developing a course that focuses on a key area of your expertise will show people that you know what you’re talking about. Say that you’re a software-coding guru. After doing your research, you’ve found that there are only a few books about a certain programming language that’s becoming very popular. Creating a course on that subject could propel you to being the #1 name in that niche. As your reputation develops, your book sales will also grow.
2. People Will See And Hear You
Just because you like consuming content in book form doesn’t mean that all of your potential readers will as well. One of the reasons that videos on YouTube and podcasts on iTunes have grown in popularity is that there’s less space between the consumer and the creator. When you read a person’s book, you may feel as though you know them, but when you hear their voice or see their face, you are bound to experience a deeper, more personal connection.
When a reader has to choose between two books, he’s more likely to buy the one that draws him in. If this reader has seen your face on a course, even if it was just for one or two free lectures, then purchasing your book may become a no brainer.
Don’t worry if you aren’t 100 percent comfortable on camera. Readers aren’t necessarily looking for a movie star. They simply want to relate to the person creating such valuable content.
3. Teaching Courses Helps You Learn
As you create your top-notch course, you’re bound to learn new things about your subject. There’s nothing like trying to develop comprehensive teaching material to identify the gaps in your own understanding. A few Google searches or video watches later, and you’ll be an even stronger expert at the material you’re trying to teach.
Learning about course creation will also give you a leg up on several author-related platforms. If you can create a course, then it means you can also record podcasts or post videos on YouTube and Facebook. Skills like these will likewise help you develop bonus content for your email auto responder sequence and your website. The necessary tools for course creation will make you into a more well-rounded and professional author.
4. Your Income Will Grow
Talk about burying the lead. Since courses cost more than books, there’s great potential for generating higher income. Blogger Joseph Michael and author Nick Stephenson have experienced major financial gains from their high-end courses. Developing the system to create courses as strong as theirs takes time and money, but it’s not that much more difficult than figuring out how to format and publish a book to Amazon. Since fewer people have the patience to learn these course creation skills, those who develop and market their courses using the lessons of people who’ve had success have the ability to do extremely well.
Teaching is a Natural Extension of Authorship
Before you write off this article and say that you’re in the book business not the education industry, keep in mind that many authors earn money teaching or speaking. Authors who book keynote gigs at major conferences or teach a workshop at a local college are reaping all the benefits of the learning industry. Developing the ability to passively harness those benefits without leaving your home could be a major boon to your income and author business. Don’t knock courses until you’ve tried creating one. People who learn through courses want to find out what you know. It’s time to give it to them.