One of the first things you need to do when creating a course is to pick a topic!

Surprisingly, this can be much harder than it sounds. I’ve talked with many entrepreneurs who want to build courses but get hung up on the topic for their course.

Here’s the thing… it is my (humble) opinion that you’re not ready to build a course if you approach the project with “I want passive income, and so I need to sell a course. I need to pick a topic for that course”. I think this is the wrong intention to have going into a course build. Sure, passive income is great, and adding a course to your offers is a way to scale your business, but the main intention behind course building should be serving your audience.

In my experience (in my own business and with my clients), the best course topics arise from identifying a transformation that can be provided on a broader scale (i.e. to more people!). A course is merely the method of delivering the value of your expertise.

As an expert, there are so many things you COULD teach. But, just because you could teach it, doesn’t mean it all needs to go into a course! Successful courses address a specific topic.

In this post, I’ll share the criteria I use when evaluating course topics. These criteria can also be used as brainstorming prompts.

I share a similar approach in my FREE training idea overload to a focused plan. Download the training here.

 

WHAT DOES YOUR AUDIENCE NEED?

Your course topic needs to be something your audience wants AND needs to hear more about. It also needs to be a topic that they are willing to pay to learn more about.

WANTS + NEEDS + WILL PAY FOR = RECIPE FOR A SUCCESSFUL COURSE

Sometimes, we know that someone in our audience needs something, but if they don’t want it, and they’re not willing to pay for it, then you don’t have a sale! 🙁

If you don’t know what your audience needs, wants and will pay for, you need to do some market research!

 

WHAT IS YOUR EXPERTISE?

As an expert, there are topics on which you have a unique and valuable perspective. People don’t just buy courses for knowledge (although that is a factor), they buy them to access the perspective of the course creator. They buy YOUR courses because they love you and want you to be their teacher.

When selecting a course topic, consider the subjects you feel most confident teaching and those of which you have a uniquely valuable perspective.

Just because somebody else has created a course on a topic you want to teach, that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in teaching something very similar.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST STRATEGIC MOVE?

This is important – just because you CAN teach it, and just because your audience WANTS it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that creating a course on that topic is the best strategic move for your business.

The topic of your course should make sense for your business. It should fit well with, or lead to, your other offers. This makes the world of difference when marketing your course.

I’m ALL about alignment (that’s why I have a course TEACHING you how to create more alignment in your business strategy). When selecting a course topic, consider what feels aligned with your big-picture business goals.

If you can hit these three criteria spot on, you’re well on the way to creating a successful course!

Want to know what’s next on the course creation agenda? My Course Action Plan is the instruction manual you need not just organize your ideas, goals and information, but effectively and efficiently build your course with every “must-have” element to turn your course into a successful and profitable product.