Why should subject experts create their own online course?


Since the turn of the year, we’ve been contacted by several subject matter experts to enquire how we can help them develop their own online programme. As with many of us, a new year springs us into action to bring those ideas and plans you’ve been thinking about into life.

But creating an online product/course/programme (whatever you want to call it) isn’t right for everyone. Before we dig into this, let’s first consider some of the wider opportunities subject experts have monetising their skills and knowledge.

Monetising your expertise

Forgetting online courses for now, the typical options are:

  • Consultancy services where you provide insights and support to individuals or organizations with their specific challenges (related to your area of expertise)
  • Helping individuals develop their skills in a particular subject with coaching and mentoring
  • Publishing books or e-books on topics related to your field of knowledge and selling them online
  • Offering paid webinars or workshops to help businesses and organizations

Each option has their own pros and cons. We often work with subject experts who are already delivering much of these, but want an opportunity to scale in a way that isn’t such a demand on their time.

Online courses bring a number of distinct advantages over many of the alternatives.

Scale, reach and efficiencies

By creating an online course, subject experts can share their knowledge and skills with a wider audience. Physical books have a natural distribution ceiling, and you can only reach so many people with ‘live’ events such as workshops.

This increased reach brings another set of benefits.

  • Creating an online course can help subject experts to showcase their expertise, enhance their reputation, and increase their professional standing. In short it presents a great opportunity to increase your authority, particularly outside of the confines of your current market reach.
  • Naturally being able to help more people can bring an heightened sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. After all, you are obviously passionate about your field and having a positive impact on even more people can only add to the feel-good effect!

An often overlooked advantage too is the opportunity to reduce the time you spend in delivery mode. One-to-one coaching and workshops are fantastic ways to monetise your expertise, but ultimately they require you to be the delivery vehicle.

A well-designed online programme doesn’t require you to be ‘in the room’ all of the time, so means that you can by having an impact on people while you’re not even present.

We’ve been recently designing a number of ‘blended’ learning experiences for subject matter experts that mix live group sessions (usually via Zoom) with self-study online materials. This means that as a course leader, you don’t need to be devoting 100% of your time to delivering your expertise – instead much of the ‘input’ can be learned individually before bringing everyone back together to learn and share as a group.

But is online training suitable for every subject expert? Certainly not. In our next blog post we’ll be looking at who should consider creating their own online programme and who should steer clear.

Andy Jack

Andy Jack

Andy loves helping subject experts, authors, speakers, coaches and key persons of influence to monetise their expertise with online learning. When not on his laptop, he'll usually be found up a mountain!

Fresh insights direct to your inbox

Join the Candle Digital mailing list