It's always a good idea to validate your course idea before creating it. Why? Because you want to make sure that you’re creating something that people need and are willing to pay for. Depending on how well you know your potential student and the size of your audience, you can decide how deep you want to go with your course validation.When you’re incredibly confident about creating a course you know your audience wants and needs, course creation becomes an entirely different experience (you’re not working in the dark). Before you begin pouring your heart and soul into creating your course, make sure that your audience will pay for it.Below are all of the steps I took to validate my course idea (yes I did all of them). I was 6 months into my business and working with clients 1:1, so I had a pretty good idea on how I wanted to teach my course, however, this validation phase allowed for me to successfully launch a successful course.
1. MAKE COURSE CALLS
My favorite way to validate a course idea is to get on a call with my potential students to understand and overcover their challenges, insights, fears, concerns, wants and needs. You’ll want to also learn about where they are now and how they feel about themselves, as it relates to my course topic.This is similar to the work you may have already done to understand your ideal client avatar (ICA), but with these calls, you want to center it around the course idea. These calls will not only make sure that you’re on the right path with your course idea but also give you some great copy for your sales page and marketing when you launch the course. The best way to conduct and record these calls is through Zoom so that you can go back and relisten to them once you’re done.Where do you find people for your course calls? Reach out to former customers, clients, your existing audience, network, post it on social media, or inside relevant Facebook groups. Ask them for 15-20 minutes of their time. Bonus tip: You can offer a bit of free coaching in exchange for their time.
2. CONDUCT A COURSE SURVEY
Putting together a course survey on Google Forms (you can also use Survey Monkey) is another great way to get the word out and gauge interest in your course topic.I wanted to get as many people to answer my survey as possible, so I sent my survey out to my email list, posted it inside my facebook group (and other groups that allowed it), on the ‘Thank You’ page of my lead magnets, and posted it on my other social media platforms.I also did several Facebook lives on my course topic and my call to action was this survey.
3. CREATE AN EPIC BLOG POST
I created a super detailed blog post with an outline of my course idea. For the content on my blog post, I included the 6 modules (that I wanted to include inside my course) as 6 steps with specific information on each one. Inside of that blog post, I added a content upgrade so that people who were interested in this topic, or found it useful, could opt in to download a free PDF (which was my main core lead magnet, but it doesn’t have to be).
This can work if you have an existing blog with an audience, however, the same idea can apply if you have a podcast, YouTube channel, etc.This is a great way to collect feedback, gain exposure, expand your audience (pertaining to this topic), and build up your email list (many of who will be your first students).
4. CONDUCT A BETA TEST
Not every course creator will do a beta test before launching because it can be exhausting and time-consuming, however, the perks are more than worth it. During my beta test, I learned so much about how my students were digesting the course material, was able to find all (and there were many) mistakes, typos, and recording errors. And it also allowed me to feel much more confident that I was able to get results.
The major win/win of a beta test is that you can ask your beta students for written and video testimonials, which you can then use on your sales page.Most of the students inside of my beta test came from the course calls, which is the best reason not to miss that step. Once I was on the call with them, I knew which ones were the perfect fit for the beta run.
I had a total of 10 students go through the course through a 6 week period. 10 is a good number to start with because some will drop off (I ended up with 8 finishing). They received 1 module every Monday and had a full week to go through the course. They had to answer module-specific surveys that they had to complete by Sunday, in order to receive the following weeks’ module. If they didn't complete the survey, they were out - I was strict on these rules, and I suggest you are too. Remember, the beta testers are getting the free content that others will later have to pay for, so they have to provide you with feedback.I put together a pre and post and weekly course surveys. I wanted to understand where my students were before going through my course, how they were doing as they went through it, and what life looked like after.The information I received from doing a beta test, was invaluable. It allowed me to go back and make tweaks and changes prior to launching to the public. The confidence boost I received from the transformation my beta testers received made me extra excited for my first launch.If all of this sounds like a lot of work, it is, but it’s much better than launching to crickets. You’ll get invaluable information to help you create a course that gets your students results, and if you can do that, you’ll have them spreading the word about you and your course.Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and do course validation prior to working on your course.
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