online-courses

Building a personal brand is a monumental undertaking. Nonetheless, it’s a worthwhile one. The brand you create for yourself influences what the world thinks when it hears your name. The better your personal brand, the better your reputation and the opportunities that come with it.

Anybody can create a personal brand, and almost everyone uses social media to jump on the branding bandwagon. But to create a highly-authoritative brand that others can’t compete with, a more advanced tactic should be added along with social media. And that tactic is to create an online video course.

When you teach others new skills or provide them with a deeper understanding about something, you prove your knowledge, experience and authority. Colleagues and competitors will always use their social-media bios to tout their skills and experience. But while they’re doing that, you will show your talents and teach your skills to a captive market.

So as you can see, developing an online video course can give you the ultimate competitive advantage. If you’re interested in establishing this kind of authority, but you’ve never created a course before, don’t worry. Here are some tools that will enable you to create professional online courses and build an unstoppable personal brand.

1. Learning Management System (Lms)

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To create an online course, the first tool you’ll need is a learning management system (LMS.) As the name implies, an LMS is a software platform for creating, managing and delivering online courses.
Corporations in many different industries use LMS software for training purposes – including the healthcare industry, the pharmaceutical field, software companies, marketing and advertising, and others. Many LMS platforms are on the market today (including the ones reviewed in this SocialMediaToday.com article.)

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to choosing an LMS, Kajabi is an excellent platform to consider. It’s an all-in-one solution with everything you’ll need to create, host, distribute and market an online video course. It’s also priced very reasonably for its robust set of offerings.

Kajabi is also popular because of the marketing tools it offers. One example (out of many) is the customizable, pre-set landing page options it gives you: Sales pages, squeeze pages, thank-you pages, download pages and home pages. This makes it much easier for you to start gaining new sales leads for your course. How?

When potential customers view your landing page, many of them will provide their email address in exchange for a free guide (or maybe even a free lesson you’ve created.) These email addresses become part of your email list that you’ll contact regularly to gain new sales over time.

2. Cloud Storage

Cloud storageWhen creating an online course, you have to manage a lot of large data files. You need to store things like large video files, presentations, images and text documents – all of which will fill up your computer’s storage space quickly.

Although you may be storing Word docs, photos and other miscellaneous files on your computer, you’ll need more storage space for your course materials. Also, you’ll want easy organization and access to all these documents. Cloud storage platforms – like Google DriveOneDrive and DropBox – take care of all these needs.

The three cloud platforms mentioned above all have plans that offer one terabyte of storage. That’s 1,000 gigabytes, which means you’ll never need to worry about running out of space.

And when you use cloud storage, all your educational materials can be accessed wherever you go, on any device. So if you lose a flash drive or have your laptop stolen, you can breathe a sigh of relief that all your hard work isn’t dependent on any of those devices.

Another important advantage of the cloud is easy collaboration. If you have team members working with you, you can share files through the cloud platform rather than dealing with the size limitations of email.

3. A WordPress Blog & YouTube Channel

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While these tools aren’t required for building an online course, they go a long way in establishing credibility and trust.

Before your audience spends money on the courses you offer, they’ll want to see proof of your expertise. Frequent, high-quality blogging and vlogging (video blogging) offers such proof. When you offer free, valuable and unique content, your audience will want to read and watch even more of what you have to offer. So what will they turn to? Your online courses!

If you haven’t started a blog before, an excellent platform to consider is WordPress. One primary reason why it’s so popular is that it is user friendly even for first-time bloggers. But other reasons include the beautiful themes it offers for a professional appearance, security features, as well as its SEO capabilities.
Do you like to write? If so, you’re in luck.

Writing frequent, high-quality blog posts is an excellent way to build credibility that makes people want to buy your online courses. If writing isn’t your strong point, you could either hire a freelance writer to ghostwrite you posts, or you could stick to vlogging using YouTube.

Combining written posts with embedded YouTube videos makes for a great, authoritative blog. But if you want to stick to video only, that can be very effective too.

4. Project Management

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Between creating online courses, blogging and vlogging, you’ll definitely want a way to manage all the activities you’re juggling. You need a resource to help you organize all your projects – from planning your next lesson and writing video scripts, to detailed tasks like fixing typos and organizing your various cloud storage folders. Whatever it is that’s on your fully-loaded plate, a tool like Trello will be indispensable.

With Trello, you create “boards” that can be compared to the whiteboards you’d use for brainstorming at the office. Within each board, you create “cards,” which are comparable to sticky notes stuck to the whiteboard. On the cards, you’re able to set tasks and goals within the boards, and add as many details as you want about each task.

Within the cards, you can establish due dates, attach documents and files, add comments, create checklists to monitor progress, and handle many other project-management related tasks.
Trello is also very collaborative, so it’s perfect if you’ll be working with others to help you create your online course.

5. Invoicing And Billing

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Besides the personal-branding benefits of creating an online video course, you can obviously make money through your courses as well. But ask any entrepreneur, freelancer or consultant, and they’ll tell you: Billing and invoicing can be time consuming work. To make life a bit easier, you’ll want a good billing and invoicing system.

Candidates include InvoicelyFreshbooks, and Due

Knowledge Is Power And Branding

You’ve developed a lot of knowledge and unique experience so far in your career. Why not use your expertise to build a highly competitive personal brand!

As your knowledge keeps growing and your skills continue to develop, your online course library will also grow more and more. And as your courses and materials keep growing, your brand will continue to strengthen. Before long, you’ll be known as an influencer and thought leader in your field.

But it all starts with your first course, and there’s no better time like the present. Do you already have something in mind for your maiden-voyage course? If so, start preparing, consider the tools mentioned above, and let your competitive edge start taking shape.